There are no criminal charges against the Houston Texans Deshaun Watson

“This is definitely a very emotional time for me,” Watson said after the hearing. “Today is definitely a great day and I thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ …”

HOUSTON – A grand jury decided Friday not to charge Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson with criminal charges of sexual assault or harassment.

Harris County Attorney’s Office has filed nine criminal charges against Watson before a grand jury.

After hearing six hours of testimony, including some from the prosecutors, the grand jurors returned nine “without bills,” meaning there will be no criminal charges.

“This is definitely a very emotional time for me,” Watson said after the hearing. “Today is definitely a great day and I believe in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for letting the truth be heard and I thank all who have been a part of it for seeing and hearing on both sides.”

It is the first time Watson has spoken publicly about the case since the allegations surfaced more than a year ago. He said he knew it was not over as they turned their attention to civil proceedings.

As for the fans who turned against him?

“That’s part of life. You know, you hear things, and that’s the way, you know, social media and the things that happen in today’s world,” Watson said. “I still love my fans, even those who believed in the other side and so on, but at the same time, things happen for a reason and people are entitled to their own opinions.”

Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, said his client had been treated unfairly from the beginning and that criminal charges should have been filed before the civil lawsuits.

“We’ve heard all the complaints from those who are making these accusations against him, we’ve tried to be respectful of them, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong,” Hardin said after the grand jury hearing.

SEE: Press conference with Deshaun Watson and Rusty Hardin

Lawyer Tony Buzbee previously said that some of the 22 clients he represents in the lawsuits have testified before the grand jury.

“After a Harris County grand jury presented all the evidence and had the opportunity to hear all the witnesses, the grand jurors refused to charge Deshaun Watson. disclose any information related to his investigation, “said Dane Schiller, a spokeswoman for the Harris County Prosecutor’s Office.

SEE: Deshaun Watson case team coverage

Civil proceedings

As the criminal investigation ends, civil lawsuits against Watson still linger.

He was indicted by 22 women on charges of sexual misconduct and, in some cases, sexual assault.

“As I said, the criminal case is separate from the civil cases. The civil cases will continue to gain strength. We took Mr. Watson’s statement again on Tuesday,” Buzbee said after the grand jury’s decision.

Watson was fired by Buzbee on Friday morning after a judge refused to delay the statement until after the grand jury’s decision. Hardin said Watson testified fifth, as expected, meaning the defendant did not have to answer questions.

Before the hearing, Buzbee said they were waiting for some answers.

“Well, don’t declare the fifth unless you think you’re going to incriminate yourself, so if you didn’t do anything wrong, you shouldn’t defend the fifth,” Buzbee told us before the statement. “The two women we’re going to talk about have not filed any criminal charges. There should be no reason for her not to be able to answer questions about what happened.”

Hardin said that now that the criminal process is behind them, his client will answer questions from the civil lawsuit, instead of continuing to defend the fifth.

“No one, except a demented lawyer, would suggest that you let him answer civil statement questions while the criminal investigation is complete,” Hardin said.

Hardin called the lawsuits a “money grab.”

The allegations

The lawsuits were filed by 22 women who accused Watson of harassment and sexual assault during the massages.

Watson was accused of exposing himself, touching them with his penis or kissing them against his will during massage appointments.

One woman said Watson forced her to have oral sex. Watson and his lawyers denied the allegations.

What’s next for Deshaun Watson?

Watson’s future is still up in the air. He demanded a change from the Texans before the 2021 season began and never played down.

Hardin said he fully expects the NFL to begin its own investigation now that the criminal case is over.

However, without criminal charges, NFL teams interested in Watson could be prepared to make a deal.

Either way, it’s very unlikely that Watson will wear the Houston Texans’ uniform again.

Our team coverage continues on KHOU 11 News at 6 and 10 p.m.

There are no criminal charges against the Houston Texans Deshaun Watson

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