No criminal charges for NFL quarterback Deshaun Watson | Inquirer Sports

No criminal charges for NFL quarterback Deshaun Watson

/ 07:17 PM March 12, 2022

(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 3, 2021 Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans in action against the Tennessee Titans during a game at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. - Houston Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson will not face criminal prosecution over allegations of sexual misconduct made by multiple massage therapists, prosecutors said on March 11, 2022.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 3, 2021 Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans in action against the Tennessee Titans during a game at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson will not face criminal charges after a Texas grand jury did not indict him Friday following accusations of sexual misconduct by 22 women.

While the criminal aspect of the case is now complete, Watson still faces the prospect of discipline from the NFL, while also being the subject of civil lawsuits filed by his accusers.

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“It’s definitely a very emotional moment for me,” Watson said Friday. “I know we’re far from being done of handling what we need to handle on the legal side, but today is definitely a big day. …

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“I thank everyone that was a part of this of seeing and hearing both sides, and that’s what my point and my team wanted to do is have a fair slate of us telling our side of the story and letting the conclusion come down to what happened today, and that’s what the grand jury decided on.”

The first civil lawsuit filed against Watson came nearly a year ago, with the quarterback not playing in 2021 after he had requested a trade last January.

The Harris County grand jury on Friday dismissed the nine criminal complaints it was ordered to address.

“Today we presented nine criminal complaints for consideration by the grand jury,” prosecutor Johna Stallings said. “The grand jury considered all of (the) evidence and returned nine no bills against Deshaun Watson involving these nine criminal complaints. We respect the grand jury’s decision and … conclude the criminal proceedings in Harris County.”

Stallings said evidence was presented for six hours. Witnesses also were available to testify. ESPN reported that eight of the women who filed suit against Watson did testify.

Watson said, “I’m just going to keep fighting to rebuild my name and rebuild my appearance in the community, and on the legal side handle what we need to handle. But also ready to get on the field, and prep for that.”

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Commissioner Roger Goodell repeatedly has said only that the NFL is closely monitoring the events related to the Watson case while conducting its own investigation.

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Watson passed for 4,823 yards with 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2020 following a landmark contract extension with the Texans worth $156 million over four years. That deal has yet to kick in as Watson had two years to go on his rookie contract, including a fifth-year option standard for first-round picks.

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TAGS: Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans, NFL

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