Saints make trade offer for Deshaun Watson, report says

The New Orleans Saints reportedly tried to trade for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that the Saints and NFC rival South Carolina Panthers have made offers for Watson. A grand jury on Friday declined to indict Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson following a police investigation sparked by lawsuits from 22 women who accused him of sexual assault and harassment. The grand jury decision came about a year after the women first filed their suit, accusing Watson of exposing themselves, touching them with his penis or kissing them against their will during massage appointments. . A woman alleged that Watson forced her to perform oral sex. Houston police began investigating Watson in April 2021 after a criminal complaint was filed. The FBI was also investigating the allegations. Prosecutors presented evidence and testimony to the grand jury for more than six hours on Friday relating to nine criminal complaints against Watson, said Johna Stallings, head of the sex crimes and adult trafficking division at the county attorney’s office. of Harris. She declined to say what possible charges had been presented to the grand jury for consideration. “We respect the grand jury’s decision,” Stallings said. said “some sexual activity” occurred during some of the massage appointments, but that he never coerced anyone. In a press conference outside his lawyer’s office, Watson said he was grateful for the grand jury’s decision. “It’s definitely a very emotional moment for me. We’re far from done dealing with what we have to deal with legally but today is definitely a great day and i thank my lord and savior jesus christ for making the truth heard… i will continue to just keep moving forward and rebuilding my name to where it was if not better,” said watson. rusty hardin, Watson’s lead attorney said the NFL star “did nothing wrong and this is the first step to resolving that. “Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing the 22 women, said the criminal case is separate from the civil cases and that he will continue the process of questioning Watson as the prosecution progresses to trial. Earlier on Friday, Buzbee Watson questioned during a deposition, the first the NFL star has given in the lawsuits. “The civil cases will continue to escalate. We are taking Mr. Watson’s deposition again on Tuesday. Respect the process,” Buzbee said. Eight of the women who prosecuted Watson filed criminal complaints against him with Houston police and were due to appear before the grand jury. Two other women who did not prosecute Watson also filed criminal charges. complaints to police.Watson’s attorneys sought to balance their defense of the NFL star while simultaneously condemning sexual violence against women.They called the lawsuits “pr ise d’argent” and claimed the 22 women who sued were lying — a strategy some experts and advocates say relies on long-used tropes designed to downplay such accusations. Buzbee said some of his clients have faced criticism and even death threats. Hardin said on Friday he always urges women to file criminal complaints so they can be heard and police can investigate. “We were vindicated in the sense that … if law enforcement looked at these issues thoroughly, we would have the result that we had today,” Hardin said. Even before the lawsuits were filed in March 2021, Watson had asked to be traded. The trade request and lawsuit kept Watson out all last season. The Texans were expected to try to trade Watson this offseason. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league is “closely monitoring all developments” and the matter “remains under personal conduct policy review.” No trial date has been set for the prosecution. Watson’s deposition for civil matters took place at the offices of Hardin’s law firm, located about 0.5 miles from the Harris County Criminal Courthouse in downtown Houston, where the grand jury s is reunited. Watson invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during the deposition, Hardin said. “No lawyer in America would let his client testify in a court case with the same issues being considered by a grand jury,” Hardin said. With the criminal investigation complete, “we’re happy to move forward with civil depositions,” Hardin said. Buzbee said Watson’s refusal to answer her questions on Friday only strengthened the women’s allegations. “If he didn’t do anything wrong, why not just say that?” Buzbee said. Hardin said Buzbee’s sole purpose on Friday was to ask Watson “saucy questions” and release transcripts to the media to make him look bad. Hardin and Buzbee are two of Texas’ best-known attorneys. Hardin is a civil and criminal defense attorney who represented former pitcher Roger Clemens when he was acquitted in 2012 of charges of lying to Congress while denying using performance-enhancing drugs. Buzbee represented former Texas Governor Rick Perry in an abuse of power case and settled the lawsuits of 10 teenagers who accused Texas millionaire Stanley Marsh 3 of paying them for sex acts.

The New Orleans Saints are reportedly trying to trade for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Saints and NFC rival South Carolina Panthers have made offers for Watson.

A grand jury on Friday declined to indict Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson following a police investigation sparked by lawsuits from 22 women who accused him of sexual assault and harassment.

The grand jury decision came about a year after the women first filed their suit, accusing Watson of exposing themselves, touching them with his penis or kissing them against their will during massage appointments. . A woman alleged that Watson forced her to perform oral sex.

Houston police began investigating Watson in April 2021 after a criminal complaint was filed. The FBI was also investigating the allegations.

Prosecutors presented evidence and testimony to the grand jury for more than six hours on Friday relating to nine criminal complaints against Watson, said Johna Stallings, head of the sex crimes and adult trafficking division at the county attorney’s office. of Harris. She declined to say what possible charges were presented to the grand jury for consideration.

“We respect the grand jury’s decision,” Stallings said.

Stallings said the move ended the Watson-related criminal prosecution in Harris County, where Houston is located.

Lawyers for Watson said “sexual activity” occurred during some massage appointments, but he never coerced anyone.

At a press conference outside his attorney’s office, Watson said he was grateful for the grand jury’s decision.

“It’s definitely a very emotional time for me. We’re far from done dealing with what we have to deal with legally, but today is definitely a great day and I thank my lord and savior Jesus Christ to have the truth heard… I’m going to continue to just keep moving forward and rebuild my name back to where it was, if not better,” Watson said.

Rusty Hardin, Watson’s lead attorney, said the NFL star “did nothing wrong and this is the first step for that.”

Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing the 22 women, said the criminal case was separate from the civil cases and that he would continue the process of questioning Watson as the prosecution progressed to trial. Earlier Friday, Buzbee questioned Watson during a deposition, the first the NFL star has given in the lawsuit.

“Civil cases will continue to grow. We’re taking Mr. Watson’s testimony again on Tuesday. Respect the process,” Buzbee said.

Eight of the women who prosecuted Watson filed criminal complaints against him with Houston police and were due to appear before the grand jury. Two other women who did not prosecute Watson also filed complaints with the police.

Watson’s attorneys have sought to balance their defense of the NFL star while simultaneously condemning sexual violence against women. They called the lawsuits “money grabbing” and claimed the 22 women who sued were lying – a strategy some experts and advocates say relies on long-used tropes designed to downplay such accusations. Buzbee said some of his clients have faced criticism and even death threats.

Hardin said on Friday he always urges women to file criminal complaints so they can be heard and police can investigate.

“We were vindicated in the sense that … if law enforcement looked at these issues thoroughly, we would have the result that we had today,” Hardin said.

Even before the lawsuits were filed in March 2021, Watson had asked to be traded. The trade request and lawsuit kept Watson out all last season. The Texans were expected to try to trade Watson this offseason.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league is “closely monitoring all developments” and the matter “remains under personal conduct policy review.”

No trial date has been set for the prosecution.

Watson’s deposition for civil matters took place at the offices of Hardin’s law firm, located about 0.5 miles from the Harris County Criminal Courthouse in downtown Houston, where the grand jury s is reunited.

Watson invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during the deposition, Hardin said.

“No lawyer in America would let his client testify in a court case with the same issues being considered by a grand jury,” Hardin said.

With the criminal investigation complete, “we’re happy to move forward with civil depositions,” Hardin said.

Buzbee said Watson’s refusal to answer her questions on Friday only strengthened the women’s allegations.

“If he didn’t do anything wrong, why not just say that?” Buzbee said.

Hardin said Buzbee’s sole purpose on Friday was to ask Watson “saucy questions” and release transcripts to the media to make him look bad.

Hardin and Buzbee are two of Texas’ best-known attorneys. Hardin is a civil and criminal defense attorney who represented former pitcher Roger Clemens when he was acquitted in 2012 of charges of lying to Congress while denying using performance-enhancing drugs. Buzbee represented former Texas Governor Rick Perry in an abuse of power case and settled the lawsuits of 10 teenagers who accused Texas millionaire Stanley Marsh 3 of paying them for sex acts.