A choose has declined efforts by attorneys for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson to delay all depositions in reference to lawsuits filed by 22 ladies who’ve accused him of sexual assault and harassment.
Throughout a court docket listening to on Monday, protection legal professional Rusty Hardin had requested that depositions within the case be delayed till after an ongoing legal investigation of the allegations in opposition to Watson concluded.
Hardin mentioned Houston police have already forwarded their findings to the Harris county district legal professional’s workplace and he believed a grand jury might decide within the case by 1 April. Eight of the ladies filed legal complaints in opposition to Watson. The FBI can also be reviewing the allegations.
“I do know that Deshaun is greater than keen to offer his testimony and to offer depositions. I’m saying as his lawyer I feel it could be loopy to permit it till we all know what’s going to occur on the legal facet,” Hardin mentioned.
Of their lawsuits, the 22 ladies accuse Watson of exposing himself, touching them together with his penis or kissing them in opposition to their will throughout therapeutic massage appointments. Watson and his legal professionals have denied the accusations. His legal professionals have mentioned “some sexual exercise” occurred throughout among the appointments however that he by no means coerced anybody.
Tony Buzbee, the legal professional representing the 22 ladies, argued that many of the ladies have already given their depositions and it was solely truthful for Watson to be deposed based on an agreed upon schedule. A earlier court docket order has set Watson’s depositions to start on Thursday.
“You’d assume that somebody who’s authorized staff has referred to as each one in all these ladies liars, has criticized me and has loudly declared his fully innocence could be prepared to talk publicly beneath oath as he initially agreed,” Buzbee mentioned. “However as a substitute, he geese and runs for canopy.”
Decide Rabeea Collier dominated that these ladies who didn’t file a legal criticism in opposition to Watson can have their lawyer depose the quarterback whereas the others should wait till after 1 April .
Buzbee mentioned he anticipated depositions of Watson on behalf of 9 of the ladies to start inside 10 days.
“Mr Watson can proceed to hunt delay however it’s inevitable that he’ll ultimately and finally must reply questions on his conduct beneath oath,” Buzbee mentioned.
Hardin mentioned whereas there’s nonetheless an ongoing legal investigation, “it’s only truthful” to attend and see if it ends in any expenses earlier than having Watson give a deposition.
“I’m hoping and trusting that the general public will hearken to us after we say he didn’t do what he’s accused of doing. I’m hopeful and belief that’ll be the conclusion of a grand jury,” Hardin mentioned.
Watson’s legal professionals have sought to steadiness their protection of the NFL star whereas concurrently condemning sexual violence in opposition to ladies. However Watson’s attorneys have referred to as the lawsuits in opposition to him a “cash seize” and fired again that each one 22 ladies who’ve filed go well with are mendacity, a technique some specialists and advocates say depends on long-used tropes designed to reduce such accusations. Buzbee has mentioned a few of his shoppers have confronted criticism and even loss of life threats.
Watson’s future with the Texans stays unclear. Even earlier than the lawsuits had been first filed in March 2021, Watson had requested to be traded. The commerce request and the lawsuits saved Watson out for the entire of final season.