The Houston Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson was told this past week that he would not face criminal charges against him.
A Houston grand jury spent six hours going through nine criminal complaints filed back in 2021 accusing Watson of repeated indecent behavior during appointments with a number of massage therapists.
After deliberating over the evidence presented, the 12-strong grand jury decided not to indict the quarterback on the nine criminal complaints.
While he won’t face criminal action, Watson still faces the prospect of defending himself in a number of civil lawsuits filed by the 22 women that have accused the Texans star of sexual misconduct.
“Very Emotional Moment For Me”
Following the decision by the grand jury, Watson made his first comments to the press
since the first sexual allegations were made against him.
“It’s definitely a very emotional moment for me,” a clearly-relieved Watson stated in a press conference on Friday following the announcement.
However, he also acknowledged that “we’re far from being done of handling what we need to handle.”
“I thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for letting the truth be heard. I thank everyone that was a part of this for seeing and hearing both sides.”
Acting on behalf of the 22 women that have brought the civil case, Houston attorney Tony Buzbee has stated “the civil cases will continue to gather steam. We have to respect the process.”
Watson is expected to face another deposition today (Tuesday).
His lead attorney, Rusty Hardin stated that Watson’s team are “happy to move forward with the civil case depositions.”
“We will vigorously defend those cases with every ounce we have,” Hardin stated.
“There were no crimes here but there is a plaintiffs’ attorney churning up negative press and churning up his clients hoping for a pay day. These cases have been the product of a lawyer maximizing his own personal publicity at the expense of others, including his own clients.”
“It is time to let DeShaun move on.”
What Will The Future Hold For Watson?
Prior to the allegations being made against Watson, the quarterback had come off a disappointing 4-12 season with the Texans and had requested a trade from the team following what he perceived as a lack of communication regarding the appointment of the new Texans head coach and general manager.
While Watson may have the threat of a criminal case now removed, he is still not out of the fire until the civil lawsuits have either been settled or dismissed. His future in the NFL may well depend on what the outcome of those cases are.
If Watson is seen to be even partly guilty then he could also be sanctioned by the NFL, which may well put off the large number of teams that are believed to be watching his situation very closely.
A number of quarterback needy teams such as the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers have already made it very clear that should Watson receive a favorable outcome from the civil cases, then they would be interested in a trade.
Without the cases hanging over him, he would not come cheap, with the Texans keen to recoup some of the Draft picks they lost through Bill O’Brien’s crazy last few years as head coach.
However, there are a number of teams who would be willing to pay a high price for a Deshaun Watson that can play worry-free in the NFL.
First though, he may well need to prove his innocence.