Judge: Deshaun Watson depositions can begin in assault suits

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A judge has declined initiatives by lawyers for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson to delay all his depositions in connection with lawsuits submitted by 22 gals who have accused him of sexual assault and harassment.

Through a court listening to on Monday, protection lawyer Rusty Hardin experienced asked that depositions in the scenario be delayed until soon after an ongoing felony investigation of the allegations in opposition to Watson concluded.

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Hardin explained Houston police have already forwarded their findings to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office environment and he considered a grand jury could make a final decision in the scenario by April 1. 8 of the females submitted legal problems against Watson. The FBI is also examining the allegations.

“I know that Deshaun is far more than ready to give his testimony and to give depositions. I’m stating as his attorney I believe it would be insane to enable it till we know what is heading to materialize on the felony facet,” Hardin mentioned.

In their lawsuits, the 22 girls accuse Watson of exposing himself, touching them with his penis or kissing them versus their will throughout therapeutic massage appointments.

HOUSTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 27: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans looks on against the Cincinnati Bengals at NRG Stadium on December 27, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

HOUSTON, TEXAS – DECEMBER 27: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans appears on against the Cincinnati Bengals at NRG Stadium on December 27, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Image by Carmen Mandato/Getty Illustrations or photos)
(Carmen Mandato/Getty Visuals)

Watson and his legal professionals have denied the accusations. His lawyers have reported “some sexual exercise” transpired in the course of some of the appointments but that he hardly ever coerced any individual.

Tony Buzbee, the legal professional symbolizing the 22 gals, argued that most of the women have now specified their depositions and it was only fair for Watson to be deposed in accordance to an agreed on schedule. A preceding court docket get has established Watson’s depositions to start out on Thursday.

“You would consider that somebody who’s lawful team has called each individual a single of these females liars, has criticized me and has loudly declared his completely innocence would be prepared to discuss publicly below oath as he originally agreed,” Buzbee said. “But as a substitute, he ducks and operates for go over.”

Judge Rabeea Collier ruled that those females who did not file a criminal grievance towards Watson can have their attorney depose the quarterback while the others will have to hold out until finally immediately after April 1.

Buzbee mentioned he anticipated depositions of Watson on behalf of nine of the girls to start out within just 10 days.

“Mr. Watson can continue to seek out delay but it is inescapable that he will eventually and finally have to response thoughts about his conduct under oath,” Buzbee said.

Hardin said although there is continue to an ongoing prison investigation, “it is only reasonable” to wait around and see if it success in any prices in advance of obtaining Watson give a deposition.

“I’m hoping and trusting that the community will hear to us when we say he didn’t do what he is accused of accomplishing. I’m hopeful and belief that’ll be the summary of a grand jury,” Hardin explained.

Watson’s legal professionals have sought to stability their protection of the NFL star when simultaneously condemning sexual violence from girls.

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But Watson’s attorneys have referred to as the lawsuits against him a “revenue get” and fired again that all 22 gals who have filed accommodate are lying, a method some experts and advocates say relies on lengthy-used tropes intended to lower these accusations. Buzbee has said some of his purchasers have faced criticism and even death threats.

Watson’s foreseeable future with the Texans stays unclear.

Even ahead of the lawsuits were being first submitted in March, Watson experienced asked to be traded. The trade request and the lawsuits saved Watson out all final season.

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