Update: Thanks to a grand jury decision this week, Deshaun Watson won't be indicted in Texas after lawsuits brought by nearly two dozen women who accuse him of harassment and sexual assault. ESPN reports that, for more than six hours on Friday, prosecutors from the Harris County DA's office presented evidence and testimony to the 12 jurors on nine of the 10 criminal complaints that have been brought against the Houston Texas quarterback; they didn't offer anything on the 10th case. The jury, however, dismissed all nine cases before them. The 22 civil suits against Watson allege that he engaged in a range of inappropriate actions while receiving massage services, from demanding oral sex to touching his genitals to the female masseuses. Eight of the women who sued were involved with the criminal complaints, in addition to two others. "When you stand on the TRUTH, the LORD will FREE you!" Watson tweeted Friday. Our original story from March 2021 follows:
The legal problems are piling up for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. Five more women have filed lawsuits accusing Watson of sexual misconduct during massage sessions, bringing the total to at least 12, NBC reports. Seven other massage therapists filed lawsuits last week accusing Watson of sexual assault and harassment, and Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing the women, says he plans to submit documents related to the cases to the Houston Police Department and the Harris County district attorney Monday, reports KHOU. Buzbee says he expects more women to come forward. The most recent accusation alleges Watson assaulted a therapist earlier this month by "touching her with his penis and exposing himself."
"It takes a lot of courage to come forward when you're dealing with someone powerful," Buzbee says. The women say Watson exposed himself or tried to force them to perform oral sex during massages, CBS Sports. Buzbee said last week that most of the women are licensed professionals. He said the 25-year-old reached out to them through spas or on Instagram to set up appointments and then demanded sexual services during the massage sessions. He said the women are seeking $500 in damages, the minimum that can be brought in Texas civil court, and "they bring these cases for one reason only—stopping further misconduct from this defendant or any others like him," the AP reports. Watson has denied ever treating a woman "with anything other than the utmost respect." (Read more Houston Texans stories.)