No timetable for resolution of Deshaun Watson criminal complaints

NFL: DEC 13 Texans at Bears
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The fact that subpoenas are being issued for a grand jury regarding the 10 criminal complaints against Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has significance. However, beyond confirming that prosecutors have officially commenced the process of gathering evidence for eventual submission to a grand jury, the recent news from Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston doesn’t shed much light on the broader situation.

Watson’s camp has believed that a grand jury will inevitably consider the allegations against Watson. The sheer volume of complaints — 22 civil lawsuits and 10 criminal complaints — makes it difficult if not impossible to not present the evidence to a grand jury.

As we understand it, it’s not a grand jury that specifically has been convened for the purposes of exploring the allegations against Watson. Instead, it’s simply part of the normal process of preparing cases for potential presentation to the four separate grand juries that consider potential indictments of alleged crimes in Harris County, Texas on a quarterly basis.

It’s possible that the subpoenas that have been issued target only documents relating to the allegations, and not testimony. If the subpoenas aren’t targeting testimony, there are no dates set for such testimony to be presented to a grand jury. If that’s the case, the formal presentation of evidence to a grand jury may not happen for months.

The grand jury proceedings are secret; rarely if ever does any information emerge from that process, beyond the final result. As to Watson, it’s believed that the prosecutor will not call the alleged victims to testify, relying instead on interviews and other information. If the grand jury believes that it needs to hear from the alleged victims, the grand jury could ask for the alleged victims to testify. It’s also believed that the prosecutor will present a package of evidence from Watson’s camp, in the interests of providing both sides.

It’s unusual for a criminal defendant to attempt to produce anything to a grand jury. In Texas, where the prosecution has no right to secure pre-trial evidence from a criminal defendant, it makes sense strategically to hold all cards until trial, using exculpatory evidence as a way to establish reasonable doubt, and then some. For Watson, however, there’s real value in potentially cutting off an indictment, if the grand jury decides based on the evidence submitted that the standard of probable cause hasn’t been met.

Although only felony charges can be submitted to the grand jury, the grand jury has the ability to issue misdemeanor charges instead. Likewise, the prosecution has the discretion even after indictment on felony charges to strike a deal pursuant to which Watson pleads guilty to one or more misdemeanors.

The biggest point to remember for now is that there’s no timeline, and that the criminal process definitely doesn’t care about the football calendar. With no team likely to trade anything of value for Watson while the criminal process is unresolved, the Texans will soon have to make a decision about Watson’s status pending further developments.

Two primary options exist: (1) shift him to injured reserve and pay him not to play; or (2) tell him it’s time to start getting ready to earn the contract he was given last year, unless and until the league office puts him on paid leave. The Texans reportedly are hoping he comes to the conclusion that it’s time to suit up and play without being pressured to do so.

19 responses to “No timetable for resolution of Deshaun Watson criminal complaints

  1. He is not playing this year. He career is in jeopardy. There is no precedent for his situation, in all of sports. In entertainment, like wise allegations resulted in jail and prison. 20…tough hill to climb and deep hole to comeback from.

  2. Can’t they keep him active On game day and if he refuses to play can’t you dock him?

  3. The Dodgers/MLB suspended Trevor Bauer, putting him on the restricted list in the middle of the season. The NFL on the other hand appears to encourage this behavior as they take no action.

  4. There is no problem money can’t solve and this is one of them.
    He is still young, he’ll be back balling, matter of when not if.
    Big Ben, AB are playing when it seemed it was the end of the world for them.

  5. Option 2 would be best for him as well. It’s staggering how him and his handlers haven’t realised coming to practice with bad attitude and still demanding trade at this juncture is not going to happen.
    He needs to ball like a free agent wanting a contract. Tyrod looked solid, he won’t be a world beater, but he will bring stability to team.

  6. “jimmbrown44 says:
    August 15, 2021 at 1:41 pm
    He is not playing this year. He career is in jeopardy. There is no precedent for his situation, in all of sports. In entertainment, like wise allegations resulted in jail and prison. 20…tough hill to climb and deep hole to comeback from.”

    36 7 Rate This

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    Based strictly upon publicly available information about the accusations, this is an insanely idiotic post.

  7. To have this circus surrounding the team is unfair to the first time head coach and general manager. If I’m the Texan’s,I’m looking ahead. Have him on a restricted list or injured reserve ,just do whatever can keep him away from the team until things are sorted out. There’s no reason for him to be at training camp and practices as it’s becoming less and less likely this man plays a snap this year.

  8. This animal preyed upon women who went there on good faith to do their job. Cynics of course will say they were hookers. They aren’t hookers. Watson used his fame and wealth to overpower and intimidate those women. Watson is a sexual predator and a deviant. An animal. Some football fans will look beyond that if he’s on their team and wins. Oh by the way he went 4-12 last year. If he were traded to my team I would disown that team instantly.

  9. No charges will be brought criminally. Juries today want physical evidence like dna, video or phone record info. None of that exists in all these case. It’s a “he said, she said” times 22. Could be times 102, doesn’t matter. No EVIDENCE period. Innocent until proven guilty and enough reasonable doubt to skate criminally

  10. theoriginalsurferbob says:
    August 15, 2021 at 5:03 pm
    This animal preyed upon women who went there on good faith to do their job. Cynics of course will say they were hookers. They aren’t hookers.
    ———
    What about the “therapist” he flew from Atlanta to Houston? Kind of a long trip for a massage don’t you think?

  11. theoriginalsurferbob says:
    August 15, 2021 at 5:03 pm
    This animal preyed upon women who went there on good faith to do their job. Cynics of course will say they were hookers. They aren’t hookers. Watson used his fame and wealth to overpower and intimidate those women. Watson is a sexual predator and a deviant. An animal. Some football fans will look beyond that if he’s on their team and wins. Oh by the way he went 4-12 last year. If he were traded to my team I would disown that team instantly.

    9 7 Rate This

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    THEY’RE NOT HOOKERS!!!!!

  12. There is no problem money can’t solve and this is one of them.
    He is still young, he’ll be back balling, matter of when not if.
    Big Ben, AB are playing when it seemed it was the end of the world for them.
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    Roethlisberger and Brown addressed their legal issues through the courts or privately. Watson’s camp is avoiding it altogether. He could’ve dealt with this months ago, guilty or innocent, and either carried on in Houston or gotten traded.

  13. theoriginalsurferbob says:
    August 15, 2021 at 5:03 pm
    This animal preyed upon women who went there on good faith to do their job. Cynics of course will say they were hookers. They aren’t hookers. Watson used his fame and wealth to overpower and intimidate those women. Watson is a sexual predator and a deviant. An animal. Some football fans will look beyond that if he’s on their team and wins. Oh by the way he went 4-12 last year. If he were traded to my team I would disown that team instantly.
    ————————————————————————————————-
    “He went 4-12 last year.” Do you think that was a reflection of his performance, or the Texans having near the worst defense in the league? By the way, Watson had a higher completion percentage and QBR, as well as threw for more yards then SB winning QB Tom Brady last season. Did I mention Watson also did this while having his number one receiver traded away before the season started? How do you know what exactly their job was they were just trying to do? Robert Kraft got a massage from someone just trying to do their job. Maybe some are victims, maybe some are not, but you sound like you personally employ, or legally represent them. I’ll wait until facts are published.

  14. He knows his career is finished so he just hanging around so he can pay his attorneys fees. Watson is a twisted person who has no conscience and obviously no respect for himself. At this point he’s just a money moocher and the NFL and Texans are looking like big fools.

  15. Not that long ago, Watson signed a huge contract ($156 million or so) with the Texans. He openly wept with his happiness. Then Bill O’Brien got mad at Hopkins and traded him. This, plus a score of other poor decisions by Texans management/ownership led to them having a 4-12 season. Watson had never experienced a losing season before, so he pouted and said (not publicly) that he wanted out. The Texans didn’t want to trade their first true franchise QB, so they held off. Then came a slew of lawsuits, and now they can’t trade him. Hate to break this to Mr. Watson, but employees don’t make the decisions on who joins the firm. He said he was prepared to sit out the season, but that threat is out now. He came to camp to avoid being fined. Put your money where your mouth is…go home and sit. As far as the Commissioner putting him on the exempt list, that would only be a slap in the Texans face. The should not be forced to pay him for his off field issues!!!

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