Report: Attorney says prosecutors likely to present Deshaun Watson case to Grand Jury in January


Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has been listed as inactive so far this season as he deals with the allegations of sexual assault or harassment made in 22 civil lawsuits.

The team is paying the star quarterback more than $17 million this season to linger on the inactive list as depositions move forward on the civil side for the plaintiff — with at least two accusers being deposed already — but the criminal side of the accusations appears to be quiet, League of Justice reports.

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League of Justice spoke to plaintiffs attorney Tony Buzbee on Monday and he said local prosecutors have started meeting with some of the women to secure potential interviews for the Grand Jury.

Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans reacts to a penalty in the second quarter during their game against the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium on November 22, 2020 in Houston, Texas.

Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans reacts to a penalty in the second quarter during their game against the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium on November 22, 2020 in Houston, Texas.
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Buzbee, who represents all 22 women in the civil suits, said prosecutors have met with two women so far and asked whether they would be willing to answer questions from Grand Jurors if it is requested, League of Justice reports. Buzbee told the outlet that prosecutors are in the process of scheduling a meeting with four more of his clients.

“One of Watson’s accusers was allegedly told by prosecutors that they will be bringing the case to a Grand Jury in Houston ‘possibly in December but more likely in January,'” League of Justice Founder Amy Dash reports. “The prosecutors also reportedly told the woman that they are waiting on additional evidence from their investigators, according to Buzbee, which could account for the delay. The prosecutors met with one of Watson’s accusers last Friday and lawyers were not allowed in the room. “I think they are taking it to a Grand Jury. I don’t think there’s any question about that.”

Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, said he is prepared to defend his client against any formal charges but told the League of Justice he always assumed that a Grand Jury proceeding would be the case.

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) wipes his hands after stretching during NFL football practice Saturday, July 31, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Justin Rex)

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) wipes his hands after stretching during NFL football practice Saturday, July 31, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Justin Rex)

“I’ve always assumed that’s what would happen,” Hardin said, per League of Justice. “That’s what a grand jury investigation is about, so there’s nothing about that, that is surprising if it’s true. I don’t know anything personally about it. I welcome it. That’s what I’ve always assumed would happen.”

Hardin also told the outlet that Watson would have an opportunity to testify before a Grand Jury but has not yet received any such suggestions from a prosecutor — he said those kinds of things are up to the prosecution and the Grand Jury.

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“So the way it stands now is they are getting their information together, they are talking to witnesses which is a normal process,” he told the outlet. “They decide what witnesses to call … I’ve always welcomed any third party listening to both sides. I’m perfectly happy with it. Obviously, We strongly believe he didn’t do anything wrong and we’ll continue to defend him to every extent humanly possible.”

If a Grand Jury does decide to indict Watson in January, it means he would likely definitely be placed by the NFL on the Commissioner’s Exempt List — a player status the NFL Commissioner can place a player on if he is formally charged with a crime or if he is indicted by a grand jury — until the matter is resolved.

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) looks to throw a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) looks to throw a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)

OutKick reported in July that 10 women had filed complaints with Houston Police Department about the quarterback. Eight of them are among the 22 women who have alleged in lawsuits that Watson sexually assaulted them or engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior during massage sessions.

League of Justice reports if 10 women participated in recorded interviews, those interviews are in the possession of prosecutors and may be presented to a Grand Jury if they chose.

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