Deshaun Watson not indicted over sex assault claims


A grand jury on Friday declined to indict Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson following a police investigation sparked by lawsuits filed by 22 ladies who’ve accused him of harassment and sexual assault.

The grand jury’s determination got here a few 12 months after the ladies first filed their fits, accusing Watson of exposing himself, touching them along with his penis or kissing them towards their will throughout therapeutic massage appointments. One girl alleged Watson pressured her to carry out oral intercourse.

Eight of the ladies who sued Watson filed legal complaints towards him with Houston police and appeared earlier than the grand jury. Two different ladies who did not sue Watson additionally filed police complaints. The FBI additionally had been reviewing the allegations.

Watson and his attorneys have denied the accusations. His attorneys have mentioned “some sexual exercise” occurred throughout a number of the therapeutic massage appointments however that he by no means coerced anybody. They’ve sought to steadiness their protection of the NFL star whereas concurrently condemning sexual violence towards ladies.

Watson’s attorneys have referred to as the lawsuits towards him a “cash seize” and claimed that each one 22 ladies who filed swimsuit are mendacity — a method some specialists and advocates say depends on long-used tropes designed to attenuate such accusations. The 22 ladies are being represented by Tony Buzbee, who has mentioned a few of his purchasers have confronted criticism and even dying threats.

Even earlier than the lawsuits have been filed in March 2021, Watson had requested to be traded. The commerce request and the lawsuits saved Watson out all final season. The Texans have been anticipated to attempt to commerce Watson this offseason.

The civil case towards Watson will proceed as attorneys for the 22 ladies have begun questioning him throughout depositions which are a part of the lawsuits. Many of the ladies have already been deposed by Watson’s attorneys. No trial date has been set for the lawsuits.

The lead attorneys within the case are two of the best-known attorneys in Texas. Rusty Hardin, Watson’s lead lawyer, is a civil and legal defence lawyer who represented ex-pitcher Roger Clemens when he was acquitted in 2012 of expenses that he lied to Congress by denying he used performance-enhancing medication. Buzbee has dealt with numerous high-profile instances, together with representing former Texas Gov. Rick Perry in an abuse-of-power case and settling lawsuits for 10 youngsters who had accused eccentric Texas millionaire Stanley Marsh 3 of paying them for sexual acts.

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