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DNA, video and a new lawsuit in San Diego State rape investigation

The San Diego Police Department released a report showing multiple 'assailants' had sex with alleged victim.

SAN DIEGO — There are major developments in the case involving a young woman accusing several former San Diego State University football players of rape.

DNA rape kit testing results are in. A video of the alleged victim on social media is raising questions.  And a new lawsuit has been filed against the city of San Diego seeking public records in the case.

The alleged victim, then age 17, was a senior in high school at the time of the alleged gang rape by several Aztecs football players on the evening of October 16, 2021 and into the morning hours of October 17.

She claimed in a civil lawsuit filed last month that she was raped in a bedroom by former SDSU football players Matt Araiza, Zavier Leonard, and Nowlin “Pa’a” Ewaliko.

A report obtained Thursday by CBS 8 revealed the results of DNA testing, showing multiple men did, in fact, have sex with the alleged victim.

The DNA report was released by SDPD to the victim’s attorney, Dan Gilleon, under the California’s Sexual Assault Victims' DNA Bill of Rights (Penal Code 680).

“DNA profiles of the assailants were obtained from the testing of the rape kit and other crime scene evidence,” the report indicated.

The names of the individuals matching those DNA profiles were not disclosed in the report. 

“They already have evidence that these guys had sex with her because there were pretext calls where they admitted it. The evidence that there was multiple assailants whose DNA was found, that's not good for these guys, you know, it's just kind of the final nail,” said Gilleon.

CBS 8 has learned one of the accused football players, Matt Araiza, voluntarily submitted a DNA sample to investigators on September 6.

It remains unclear whether DNA testing on Araiza's sample, as well as samples from the other football players, has been completed.

Meanwhile, a YouTube video has surfaced where the 17-year-old alleged victim is seen at a party, wearing the same Halloween costume she wore on the night of the alleged rape.

The young woman told her attorney, the video was recorded at a different party on October 15, the evening before the football party.

In the video, the minor repeatedly tells a YouTube interviewer that she is age 18.

“It is definitely not at the football house,” said Kerry Armstrong, a criminal defense attorney representing Araiza.

In a previous interview, legal expert Gretchen von Helms told CBS 8 that it doesn't matter what the girl said about her age when it comes to criminal charges.

“It does not matter if they knew or not that she was a minor.  They can charge what's called statutory rape of all the men in the room, because she was a minor and they were not,” said von Helms, a defense attorney who is not associated with the case.

Attorney Gilleon fired back at Armstrong for publicizing the YouTube video.

“He's doing this to embarrass her publicly.  And he's trying to bully her into backing down,” Gilleon said.  “I think what he's doing right now is trying to taint the jury pool because he knows that's his only way to get a hung jury on this.”

SDPD also released police reports to Gilleon under the California Public Records Act.  The reports included statements given to police two days after the alleged rape by both the alleged victim and her friend, who also attended the party.

In the SDPD reports, however, the names of the defendants and witnesses were redacted.  As a result, Gilleon has filed a new lawsuit against the city of San Diego seeking unredacted records.

“We're filing a lawsuit because they redacted the names of the defendants. And you know, they don't have a right to do that,” said Gilleon.

No criminal charges have been filed in the case.  The San Diego County District Attorney’s office continues to review evidence.

Editor's note:  A previous version of this report said the YouTube video was recorded on October 16.  In fact, the YouTube video was recorded on the evening of October 15.

WATCH RELATED: Questions about alleged gang-rape dominate SDSU Aztecs football briefing (Aug. 2022).

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