Beyond pursuing 12 lawsuits and counting against Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, lawyer Tony Buzbee will commence on Monday an effort to spark a criminal prosecution of Watson.
“Per advice from a well known criminal defense attorney,” Buzbee said Saturday night on social media, “[o]ur team will be submitting affidavits and evidence from several women, who had experiences with Deshaun Watson, to the Houston Police Department and the Houston District Attorney, on Monday morning. We will request that a grand jury be empaneled to consider the evidence we provide.”
Requesting a grand jury to be empaneled won’t automatically result in a grand jury being empaneled. First, the prosecutors must decide whether to pursue the cases.
The high bar of proof beyond a reasonable doubt becomes a major factor for prosecutors in deciding whether to proceed with criminal cases. Most prosecutors only pursue matters that they know they can win. Cases based on two witnesses who will test diametrically opposed stories become difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
It will be for the prosecutors to decide the proper exercise of the vast discretion that the office has at its disposal. That will be based on the evidence received from Buzbee, and on whatever Watson’s lawyer makes available, if anything, to persuade prosecutors that reasonable doubt exists.