Complaints against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson have now gone from civil to criminal, according to the Houston Police Department (HPD). A woman filed a report Friday against Watson, and HPD acknowledged that it is launching an investigation.
HPD tweeted Friday that since no charges have been filed, they can’t comment further on the matter.
“Today, a complainant filed a report with the Houston Police Department concerning Deshaun Watson. As with any allegation, the Houston Police Department is now conducting an investigation and will not comment further during the investigative process,” HPD tweeted.
There have already been a total of 21 women who have filed civil lawsuits against Watson for alleged sexual assault or sexual misconduct allegations. All of the women are being represented by Houston attorney Tony Buzbee.
Houston attorney Rusty Hardin, who is representing Watson, has countered 21 lawsuits with statements from 18 different licensed massage therapists who claim the Houston quarterback has always been “professional” and “polite.”
When Buzbee first wrote that he was filing a lawsuit against Watson, the quarterback responded by saying he is innocent of all allegations and that a woman was seeking a six-figure out-of-court settlement, which he rejected.
“I have never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect,” Watson tweeted, adding “this isn’t about money for me – it’s about clearing my name.”
Buzbee said it wasn’t about money, but “taking the power back” for his clients.
“This case isn’t about money. It’s certainly not about seeking publicity or fame. I personally don’t need it. These women don’t want it. This case is about female empowerment, taking the power back,” Buzbee said.
According to one lawsuit, Watson had inappropriate contact with a massage therapist, allegedly touching her with his private parts.
Another lawsuit states that Watson sent the plaintiff a direct message to meet him at a local office building. The therapist reportedly left the room and then later returned to find the quarterback on the table, lying on his stomach with a small towel covering his rear. Midway through the massage, he allegedly rolled over and “got more aggressive, forcefully telling her to move her hand down to his pubic area.”
The therapist said she felt “intimidated and threatened” and “was afraid of what someone like Watson could do if she did not submit to his demands.”
After allegedly telling the masseuse that he could “help or hurt” her career, the therapist said Watson tried to force her to perform oral sex for him, to which “she did not consent.”
Watson has publicly made it known that he wants to be traded from the Texans after the team’s front office made questionable personnel decisions, which included trading the team’s best receiver (DeAndre Hopkins) last year, and then this offseason releasing defensive star J.J. Watt. Both of those players are now with the Arizona Cardinals.