Houston police have spoken with at least 10 women who have accused Houston, Texas quarterback Deshaun Watson of crimes ranging from abusive touching to assault, according to data obtained by NewsMadura.
The records have been heavily redacted and do not reveal the names of the complainant or suspect, but they were released in response to a request for all records related to Watson or his Houston home address.
A brief summary of each complaint is one of the few lines that has not been edited in the documents. “The complainant has stated that the suspect touched her inappropriately and exposed himself,” it says. Another said: “Complainant has been sexually assaulted by the accused. A suspect. No arrest. Complainant prepared to prosecute.”
Houston Police Department spoke to the women between April 2 and May 20 of this year, and the dates of their complaints ranged from September 2019 to December 2020.
On March 16 of this year, attorney Tony Buzbee announced that he was filing a lawsuit against Watson, accusing him of misconduct against an unnamed woman. Buzbee now represents 22 women who have sued Watson.
In addition to the 10 women who spoke to Houston police, the FBI is investigating the matter, according to Buzbee and Watson’s attorney Rusty Hardin. Watson has spoken to the FBI and Hardin has said agents are investigating one of Buzbee’s clients for extortion, while Buzbee has said they are investigating Watson’s behavior.
The status of the criminal investigations into Watson’s conduct is unclear. Spokespersons for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and the FBI did not respond to requests for comment, while a Houston police spokesperson went to the statement from the department of April 2, which reads in part: “As with any allegation, the Houston Police Department is now conducting an investigation and will not comment further during the investigation process.”
Last month, a Houston television station reported that a grand jury had been convened in the case. Under Texas law, every possible felony charge goes before a grand jury.
“The district attorney has told us from the outset that their findings will eventually be presented to a grand jury once the investigation is complete,” Hardin said at a news conference last month. “We will have the opportunity to tell our side, and we will be heard fairly.”
In an interview on Wednesday, Hardin said, “Every week we learn more that makes us feel more and more comfortable that none of these cases will lead to valid criminal charges.”
Hardin said he will begin questioning prosecutors in the civil cases during testimony beginning this month. Watson’s statement should be out by February, he said.
The Times requested the data from the Houston Police Department in April, but it was not provided until Friday.
The police department asked the Texas Attorney General’s office to decide whether the requested information was exempt from disclosure. An assistant attorney general wrote in June that information consisting of “detecting, investigating or prosecuting a crime” was exempt, but that basic information about an arrested person, an arrest or a crime was not. That basic information was what was released.
A party that hasn’t spoken to Watson yet: The NFL has spoken with some of the women who have sued Watson, Buzbee says, but Hardin has said that league investigators haven’t spoken with Watson yet. In cases involving criminal investigations, the NFL typically waits for those investigations to be completed before interviewing the player.
The Texans open their season against the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 12 and it is unclear whether Watson will start as a quarterback or whether he will still be on the team. Watson participated in a number of Houston training camps, although he did not play in any of the team’s three preseason games. According to numerous reports, he has asked to be trafficked, a request that was difficult to fulfill given the legal and criminal investigation.
Julia Macurreporting contributed.