Deshaun Watson will not face criminal charges for sexual assault allegations made against him in 2021 by multiple massage therapists.
A grand jury in Harris County, Texas, heard the Texans quarterback’s case today and chose not to indict the 26-year-old, who was a healthy scratch every game last season as the allegations were under investigation. He was still paid his entire base salary for the season, amounting to upwards of $10 million.
“Today we presented nine criminal complaints for consideration by the grand jury. Beginning at 9 o’clock this morning, we presented evidence for over six hours for the grand jury to consider, as well as having witnesses available for those persons to testify in front of the grand jury,” said prosecutor Johna Stallings, division chief of adult sex crimes and trafficking at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. “And the grand jury considered all of that 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.”
Watson had requested a trade before the season began, and as quarterbacks have started getting shifted around the league this week in some major trades, Watson’s name may be back on the table for several teams who were hesitant to sign him while there were criminal complaints lodged against him.
Aside from the nine criminal complaints that were dismissed today, Watson still faces 22 civil lawsuits for inappropriate behavior and sexual assault. He also awaits an NFL investigation, as he refused to speak to the league before a decision was made on the criminal charges, and could face disciplinary action from the league if it finds evidence of any wrongdoing.
Watson took the 5th during a deposition this morning for two of the civil cases against him. His lawyer said that he would answer questions in the civil suits after the criminal charges had been resolved, which they now are.