The Houston Police Department has spoken to at the least 10 ladies who’ve accused Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson of crimes from undesirable touching to sexual assault, in keeping with data obtained by The New York Times.
The data are closely redacted, and don’t reveal the names of the complainant or the suspect, however they have been launched in response to a request for all data associated to Watson or his residence handle in Houston.
A quick abstract of every grievance is one of the few traces left unredacted within the paperwork. “Complainant stated that the suspect touched her inappropriately and exposed himself,” learn one. Another mentioned: “Complainant was sexually assaulted by the suspect. One suspect. No arrest. Complainant willing to prosecute.”
Houston police spoke to the ladies between April 2 and May 20 of this yr, and dates of their complaints ranged from September 2019 to December 2020.
On March 16 of this yr, the legal professional Tony Buzbee introduced that he was submitting a lawsuit towards Watson, accusing him of misconduct towards an unnamed lady. Buzbee now represents 22 ladies who’ve sued Watson.
In addition to the 10 ladies who’ve spoken to Houston police, the F.B.I. is investigating the case, in keeping with Buzbee and Watson’s legal professional, Rusty Hardin. Watson has spoken to the F.B.I., and Hardin has mentioned brokers are investigating one of Buzbee’s shoppers for extortion, whereas Buzbee has mentioned they’re investigating Watson’s conduct.
The standing of the legal investigations into Watson’s conduct is unclear. Spokespeople for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and the F.B.I. didn’t reply to requests for remark, whereas a Houston police spokesman referred to the division’s assertion from April 2 which reads, partly, “As with any allegation, the Houston Police Department is now conducting an investigation and will not comment further during the investigative process.”
Last month, a Houston tv station reported grand jury had been convened within the case. Under Texas legislation, each potential felony cost goes earlier than a grand jury.
“The prosecutor has told us from the beginning that ultimately when the investigation is over, their findings will be presented to a grand jury,” Hardin mentioned at a information convention final month. “We will be given the opportunity to tell our side, and we will get an evenhanded hearing.”
In an interview Wednesday, Hardin mentioned, “Every single week we are finding out more that makes us increasingly more comfortable that none of these cases will lead to valid criminal charges.”
Hardin mentioned he’ll start questioning the accusers within the civil instances at depositions that may begin this month. Watson’s deposition ought to occur by February, he mentioned.
The Times requested the data from the Houston police in April, however they weren’t supplied till Friday.
The police division requested the workplace of the Texas legal professional common to rule on whether or not the data sought have been exempt from disclosure. An assistant legal professional common wrote in June that info that consists of the “detection, investigation or prosecution of crime” was exempt, however that primary details about an arrested particular person, an arrest or against the law shouldn’t be. That primary info was what was launched.
One celebration that has not but spoken to Watson: The N.F.L. has spoken to a quantity of the ladies who’ve sued Watson, in keeping with Buzbee, however Hardin has mentioned league investigators haven’t but spoken to Watson. In instances involving legal investigations, the N.F.L. sometimes waits till these investigations are accomplished earlier than interviewing the participant.
The Texans open their season towards the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 12, and it’s unclear whether or not Watson will begin at quarterback, or whether or not he’ll nonetheless be on the group. Watson participated in some of Houston’s coaching camp, although he didn’t play in any of the group’s three preseason video games. According to quite a few experiences he has requested to be traded, a request that has been troublesome to satisfy given authorized and legal investigations.
Juliet Macurcontributed reporting.