HOUSTON — Another grand jury has declined to indict former Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson on criminal charges, KHOU 11 News has confirmed.
A Brazoria County grand jury made the decision after hearing evidence in a Pearland case.
One of the women who sued Watson said he drove to her mother's house in Pearland -- which is in Brazoria County -- for the massage, according to court documents.
"After a careful and thorough review of the facts and evidence documented in the reports prepared by the Brazoria County Sheriff's Office and the Houston Police Department, as well as hearing testimony from witnesses, the Grand Jury for Brazoria County has declined to charge Deshaun Watson with any crimes. Accordingly, this matter is closed," the Brazoria County District Attorney Tom Selleck said.
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On March 11, the Harris County grand jurors declined to indict Watson on charges of sexual assault and sexual harassment.
"This is a huge victory for Deshaun Watson," said KHOU 11 legal analyst Carmen Roe. "We have 10 different charges alleged and 10 no bills from two different counties. And I think anybody who looks at this would say, given the low bar that a grand jury reviews cases on and this is a one witness case, that these complainants may not be as credible as once believed."
Watson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, said news of the second grand jury was nothing new. Hardin gave the following statement after the grand jury declined to indict Watson:
"We are thrilled that the Brazoria County grand jury cleared Deshaun Watson of the one remaining criminal allegation. We’ve known all along what people who learn the facts also know - Deshaun committed no crimes. In fact, two separate grand juries have now found that there wasn’t even probable cause to believe he committed a crime.
Once the Harris County cases were concluded, we were informed that Brazoria County intended to present their case to a grand jury on Wednesday, March 23. We, and the complainant, were offered the opportunity to provide any information we wanted to the grand jury.
It’s important to note that both we and the Cleveland Browns knew this grand jury presentation was pending and attempted not to discuss it publicly until it was completed. Now that the criminal investigations and two different grand jury presentations have been completed, I hope the public and the media will take to heart the closing statement from the Brazoria County district attorney’s letter stating: 'Accordingly, this matter is closed.'
It is time to let the civil litigation proceed at a normal pace and for Deshaun Watson to take his place as the quarterback of the future for the Browns. I am fully confident that the Cleveland community will discover that Deshaun Watson is not just a great quarterback but also an incredibly decent person they will be proud to have represent their city."
Watson is still facing 22 civil lawsuits by massage therapists who accuse him of sexual misconduct during massages. Watson has denied the allegations.
His attorney has said in the past that there was consensual sexual encounters with some of the women.
Watson has been undergoing depositions in the civil cases and both sides say he is cooperating.
Buzbee said Thursday the grand jury decisions will have no bearing on the civil cases and they are moving forward.
The NFL was also looking into the allegations, as was the FBI, Hardin confirmed.
Watson asked for a trade from the Texans in January 2021, before the first lawsuit was filed. He didn't play a single down last season.
The Texans announced earlier this month that they have agreed to trade Watson and a 2024 fifth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns in return for a 2022 first-round pick, a 2023 first-round pick, a 2024 first-round pick, a 2023 third-round pick, and a 2024 fourth-round pick.
Watson arrived in Cleveland on Thursday where he underwent a physical and met with Browns' coaches.