Judge rules that Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson can be questioned under oath in nine civil cases

A Houston judge ruled Monday that Deshaun Watson could face questions under oath in at least some 22 civil cases brought against him by women who accused the Houston Texans quarterback of acts ranging from harassment to sexual assault during massages.

Watson’s attorney, Rusty Harden, filed a request last week to delay Watson’s filing beyond April 1, and argued on Monday that such a delay would enable Watson’s legal team to secure affidavits with all 22 women suing Watson and also allow Watson to have protections to see if he He will also face criminal charges. Watson’s filing was originally scheduled to begin early this week.

Hardin said in court Monday that the Harris County District Attorney will decide by April 1 whether Watson will file criminal charges. The attorney general’s office and the Houston police declined to comment on the status of the criminal case against Watson.

Harden’s proposal to delay Watson’s statement on Monday was rejected, at least in part.

“Team Deshaun Watson claims loudly and publicly that he is innocent and wants nothing more than to clear his name, but he refuses to sit in a room and confront his accusers and answer questions under oath,” Tony Busby, Houston attorney for 22 women. sued Watson, in a prepared statement on Monday.

“Today [Watson] He sought further delay. But, despite his efforts, the court ruled that, at least with respect to the first nine plaintiffs, there would be no further delay.”

On Monday, the court ruled that Watson could be questioned under oath over allegations relating to nine of the pending civil cases. None of the women involved in those nine cases have filed a criminal complaint against Watson, and all have already filed their own statements in their ongoing civil cases.

Hardin argued in court on Monday that no attorney would allow any client to give sworn testimony in a civil case when a potential criminal case loomed, raising the possibility that when Watson gives testimony in the nine cases set by the court on Monday, he is likely to exercise his right to The Fifth Amendment is to remain silent.

“The attorney’s duty is to protect the client, and while a criminal investigation is going on, it’s fair to wait to see whether or not it will lead to charges before deciding whether to file someone,” Harden told reporters after Monday’s hearing.

22 civil cases against Watson accuse him of a range of actions during massage appointments, from refusing to cover his genitals to forced oral sex. Hardin said on Monday that Watson “did not do what he is accused of doing,” and added, “I am optimistic and trust that it will be the result of a grand jury.”

Buzbee sheds at least some light on the recent filing of Watson’s marketing director, Brian Burney, saying that it was Burney who testified that the Texas organization “provided Watson with a non-disclosure agreement that he insisted several women sign after a massage”.

The NFL is also investigating the Watson case.

Watson, who has been the subject of trade rumors in the NFL for months, has not played all season with the Texans despite remaining on the active roster.