A 2nd Texas Grand Jury Declines to Demand Deshaun Watson

A grand jury in Brazoria County in Texas declined on Thursday to deliver sexual misconduct rates from Deshaun Watson, the previous Houston Texans quarterback who was traded to the Cleveland Browns just days in the past, district attorney Tom Selleck said in a assertion.

A grand jury in Harris County, Texas, wherever Houston is, rejected nine criminal circumstances versus Watson this thirty day period. But a 10th prison grievance submitted with the Houston Police Section explained an alleged incident outside the jurisdiction of the Harris County District Attorney’s Place of work.

The scenario, in Brazoria County, south of Houston, was the past regarded criminal case pending versus Watson. The complainant, who was a massage therapy student at the time, informed the law enforcement that Watson ejaculated on her in a November 2020 therapeutic massage appointment.

The publicly obtainable law enforcement report was seriously redacted but reported that the complainant informed the law enforcement in April 2021 that Watson experienced “touched her with his penis and ejaculated leading to semen to touch her arm and hand.” The police stated the offense less than investigation as indecent assault, a course A misdemeanor in Texas punishable by up to just one 12 months in jail and a highest fine of $4,000.

The complainant, whose title was redacted in the criminal complaint, is a person of the 22 plaintiffs who are suing Watson in civil court for sexual misconduct all through massage appointments.

Watson has denied all wrongdoing, and his lawyer, Rusty Hardin, has claimed that any sexual functions that transpired in the course of therapeutic massage appointments were being consensual. Right after the grand jury in Harris County declined to bring costs on March 11, Hardin stated in a statement that “the felony investigations have been finished,” while he mentioned in an job interview Thursday that he experienced acknowledged all together that a situation could be introduced towards Watson in Brazoria County.

“We are thrilled that the Brazoria County grand jury cleared Deshaun Watson of the one particular remaining felony allegation,” Hardin explained in a statement Thursday. “We’ve recognised all alongside what individuals who study the info also know — Deshaun dedicated no crimes.”

Hardin explained that Watson was deposed in this complainant’s civil go well with on Tuesday, the day just before the Brazoria County grand jury read the prison situation. Watson experienced invoked his Fifth Modification correct versus self-incrimination to steer clear of answering inquiries in the civil suits while criminal situations from him in Harris County had been continue to pending. But Watson waived that appropriate and has answered issues under oath for 6 of the civil situations, including the deposition on Tuesday, Hardin explained.

Hardin reported that at the time the felony instances experienced been turned down by the Harris County grand jury, he was cozy letting Watson answer issues for this complainant’s civil accommodate.

“It was just a functional determination,” Hardin explained. “I knew what he was heading to say so I took the placement that I am willing to gamble my license on permitting him testify on a single case.”

Hardin mentioned the Browns had been mindful that legal prices could still be introduced from Watson in advance of they traded for him. A Browns spokesman did not specify when the staff was informed about the Brazoria County situation.

N.F.L. groups viewed the determination in Harris County as a inexperienced gentle to go after Watson by means of trade, and the Browns gave Watson a guaranteed 5-year, $230 million deal, a document for a assured deal. The composition of the deal — with a 2022 foundation wage of only about $1 million — would mitigate Watson’s economical penalty for lacking online games if the N.F.L. suspends him for a violation of its personalized-conduct coverage this time.

The Browns claimed in a assertion on Sunday that they undertook a “comprehensive analysis process” prior to trading for Watson and did “extensive” investigative, lawful and reference perform. The statement also acknowledged that “some legal proceedings” had been continuing, but it was unclear whether or not that assertion was referring to any legal circumstances.

The N.F.L.’s investigation into the allegations in opposition to Watson is ongoing. A human being who discovered himself as a protection agent for the N.F.L. requested facts from the Houston Police Department on March 15, including witness statements and phone data or social media messages, and also requested for interviews with the law enforcement investigators who labored the case, according to police information.

In advance of the deal with the Browns, Watson also satisfied with the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints very last week.