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NFL

Texans QB Watson can be deposed in misconduct cases against him

A judge has ruled that Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson can be deposed in some of the 22 civil cases that have been filed against him.

Update:
A judge has ruled that Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson can be deposed in some of the 22 civil cases that have been filed against him.

A judge has ruled that Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson can be questioned under oath in some of the 22 civil cases that have been filed against him for actions that include misconduct and sexual assault.

These incidents of coercive behavior allegedly took place during massage sessions that were held from March 2020 to March 2021.

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Watson's lawyers seek delay

Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, had earlier filed a motion to delay the quarterback’s deposition, which was set to start as early as this week.

Watson faces civil complaints from 22 women, as well as the possibility of criminal charges. Hardin argued that postponing the 26-year-old’s deposition could prevent the player from incriminating himself, pending the filing of criminal cases.

“The obligation of the lawyer is to protect the client, and while there is a criminal investigation going on, it is only fair to wait to see whether it results in charges or it doesn’t before deciding whether you’re going to submit somebody for depositions,” the attorney said, via ESPN.

Possible criminal cases in April

As the investigation is still ongoing, Hardin said the Harris County District Attorney is expected to decide by April 1 whether criminal charges will be filed against Watson.

Hardin also said the requested delay would allow their legal team to question under oath all the women who filed the civil lawsuits.

Although the court ruled that Watson can already be questioned, he can only be deposed in relation to accusations in nine cases made by women who have not yet filed criminal charges against him. These women have already been deposed in their respective civil suits.

Complainants laud ruling

The lawyer for all 22 women, Tony Buzbee, welcomed the judge’s ruling.

“Deshaun Watson’s team loudly and publicly claims he is innocent and wants nothing more than to clear his name, yet he refuses to sit in a room and face his accusers and answer questions under oath,” said Buzbee.

“The Court ruled that, at least with regard to the first nine plaintiffs, there will be no more delay.”

The quarterback did not play for the Texans last season following the accusations, which the NFL is also investigating.

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