Will Deshaun Watson’s criminal cases be resolved today?

USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, a grand jury finally will consider the criminal complaints made last year against Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. Will the criminal process end today?

It ends today only if the grand jury decides not to charge Watson with any crime. Although there’s quiet optimism in Watson’s camp that he won’t be charged because the allegations against him don’t amount to criminal conduct, one or two misdemeanors are possible.

But misdemeanors can be managed, with a quick plea of guilty or no contest, or entry to a diversion program. However, any of those outcomes would virtually guarantee a suspension. The question is whether Watson would fight the misdemeanors in the hopes of avoiding or minimizing league-imposed discipline.

Friday’s outcome will be heavily influenced by the zeal of the prosecutor. The same latitude that allows a prosecutor to indict a ham sandwich (given that the ham sandwich has no lawyer in the room and no right to present contradictory evidence or argument) gives a prosecutor the ability to engineer a decision not to indict a given suspect, if the prosecutor chooses to introduce exculpatory evidence and/or to point to the flaws in the case.

Currently, we don’t know whether and to what extent the prosecutor is determined to indict Watson. But there’s one potential clue in the timing of the presentation of the evidence to the grand jury.

Previously, attorney Rusty Hardin expressed confidence that the grand jury’s work will be completed by April 1. With the grand jury getting the case today, it’s possible that the prosecutor decided to adjust the timetable in an effort to allow Watson to secure professional clarity as the league’s annual trading/free agency period begins.

Putting it another way, if the prosecutor were determined to make things as difficult for Watson as possible, the prosecutor would drag this out, forcing Watson to watch opportunities disappear as his legal status remains unresolved. By moving now, the prosecutor arguably is looking to be fair to Watson.

In turn, this could mean that the prosecutor will be making a fair and balanced presentation of evidence, instead of seizing on the opportunity to get the grand jury to indict Watson on the worst possible charges, regardless of whether an eventual conviction would be likely.

Even then, the grand jury decides whether to proceed with formal charges. That decision could come today, or it could come later.

29 responses to “Will Deshaun Watson’s criminal cases be resolved today?

  1. Great player, but is he really worth the negative fallout from this for any team that’s entertaining trading for him? Seems like a headache.

  2. The old saying is that, “a grand jury will indict a ham sandwich.” They almost always move to indict and it literally means nothing. The prosecutor better have a strong case if he/she decides to move forward.

  3. To believe a prosecutor would not want criminal charges in a high profile case like this seems to be unbelievable to me. I guess we will wait and see.

  4. One stupid act should not define someone. But Watson, allegedly, engaged in multiple acts of sexual assault. The guy’s got a problem. He will get another shot in the NFL, however. When he does, he should begin with a public apology and an announcement that he’s seeking professional help. Then he should get it.

  5. There are 2 big reasons to later push a civil case to criminal. First is that you want justice. Second is that you want to strengthen your civil case. No one can know which as the actual reason for any of them. We do know for sure that they have a very aggressive lawyer.

  6. Ok I’ll entertain this. Let’s say he skates on any charges and is at best forever branded a pervert. No suspension, no exempt list. Come August he’ll be almost TWO FULL YEARS removed from football. What makes anyone think he is going to walk into any team and be QB1, much less the absurd salary demands he’s got? Delusional. Anyone that signs him will both deserve it and regret it.

  7. mhouser1922
    Ain’t gonna happen. Because then he is ADMITTING he did things, which right now for legal reasons he is denying.

    If he did these things, there is no good option for him.

    He will pay people off, hope to be acquitted, and never speak of it again.

  8. Unfortunately he’ll get another shot. But whichever team winds up with him better have some very strong wording and clauses in his contract.

  9. If it were one woman, sure, maybe it’s he said-she said. But 22? No. Twenty-two women don’t accuse one person of something for no reason.

    Let’s not let ourselves get away from that. We’ve seen so many posts parsing the means by which he might get back into playing, who would want him, etc., that we’re getting away from what started this.

    22 women have accused him of abusing them. His career should be over.

  10. qtrotti says:
    March 11, 2022 at 11:56 am
    To believe a prosecutor would not want criminal charges in a high profile case like this seems to be unbelievable to me. I guess we will wait and see.

    —————————–

    Cases rarely look as open and shut on the inside as they do through the kaleidoscopeof the media. No prosecutor wants to be depants in a high profile case either. Maybe setting isn’t the worse bet for him.

  11. “Previously, attorney Rusty Hardin expressed confidence that the grand jury’s work will be completed by April 1.”

    Low hanging fruit there?

  12. To believe a prosecutor would not want criminal charges in a high profile case like this seems to be unbelievable to me. I guess we will wait and see.

    —————-

    I’m a prosecutor. I don’t care who the accused is. If I have the evidence to prosecute, I want to prosecute. But I don’t want to waste days, weeks, or months of court time running a case with bad evidence. And, believe it or not, I don’t want to convict anyone who’s not guilty, regardless of their status in life.

  13. Grand juries typically don’t deal with misdemeanors. No prosecutor worth their salt would bring anything less than a felony before a grand jury

  14. No.

    He’ll be under arrest and soon.

    There’s no way 22 women have conspired together to defraud Watson here just like the the women who came forward about Bill Cosby. It’s about the pattern, the intent and the abuse, and nothing is more powerful than testimony from the victims themselves.

    This whole idea this is some minor thing is laughable.

    Anyone can read the reports from the victims, as they’re available to the public. This guy has more than a problem. He’s a serial offender.

  15. The issue at hand is Watson’s ability to use some common sense in his personal life. I would have to think any Owner, GM, or HC is going to be concerned about his future personal life decisions.
    Granted we don’t know every detail nor if the allegations are factual or simply been embellished by the accusers,… but to have 22 women step forward is troubling to say the least. With top QB’s commanding the big $$$,… I’d be hesitant to sign him to a long term deal. There’s no guarantees he doesn’t do something dumb again and get suspended.

  16. The thing that bugs me about Watson, whether he committed a crime or not, is that his behavior seems predatorial. It could escalate later if it is swept under the rug. He needs help.

  17. The suggestion that “2 full years” away from the field will deteriorate Watson’s skills is asinine.

  18. Today is “D-Day” for Watson!

    If he is charged with felony sexual assault, he is done!

    If he is not changed, the Texans will get a bounty for Watson!

    Watson should have settled the civil cases last year.

  19. Money will make these cases go away. These unlicensed masseuses put themselves in a very precarious position by offering these services on social media, some clients want more than a massage from a beautiful woman. Watson obviously felt comfortable doing this repeatedly and again, everybody has a price.

    At this point the money goes to the plaintiffs or the lawyers, sad but true. Watson will be back in the NFL and a year from now this will be a distant memory as we’ll all be on to the next scandal.

  20. touchback6 says:
    March 11, 2022 at 1:37 pm
    No.

    He’ll be under arrest and soon.

    Arrested for what?

  21. I’m not sure why a prosecutor would even bother moving to indict a potential defendant and waste judicial resources if they didn’t really mean to do so.

  22. “..One stupid act should not define someone….”

    Go check out the latest Kaepernick article for opposing viewpoints.
    And what he did wasn’t even stupid.

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