A Houston police detective believed that Deshaun Watson committed crimes after investigating 10 criminal complaints against him, according to USA Today, which obtained a copy of a pretrial deposition for civil litigation against the Cleveland Browns quarterback.
Detective Kamesha Baker also said she expressed this opinion to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office but was not called to testify before a grand jury in Harris County, Texas. That grand jury in March did not indict Watson on charges stemming from accusations of sexual assault harassment, nor did a second grand jury in Brazoria County two weeks later.
Per the report, Baker said she believed Watson committed criminal indecent assault, sexual assault and prostitution in cases where money was exchanged for consensual sex.
According to the deposition, per USA Today, Baker was asked if she felt confident that there was sufficient evidence to pursue those charges.
“Yes,” Baker said, according to the paper.
Asked in the deposition if there was any doubt a crime had been committed, Baker said, “no.”
Watson is currently being sued by 24 women accusing him of sexual misconduct during massages given in 2020 and 2021. Eight of the women also filed complaints with Houston police about the 26-year-old’s conduct. Two more women currently not suing Watson in the civil case also filed complaints.
Baker met with prosecutor Johna Stallings at the DA’s office, according to the report, and relayed that she found the complaints “credible and reliable” and said in the deposition, “That’s why we did a warrant that stated they were credible and reliable.”
Watson’s legal team, meanwhile, has continued to maintain the former Texans quarterback is innocent and noted that Baker admitted to believing the women at the outset and therefore creating an unfair presumption of guilt.
“The presumption of innocence is a fundamental tenet of our justice system,” Leah Graham, one of Watson’s attorneys, said in a statement Friday. “It is incredibly unfortunate that this presumption was not given to Deshaun Watson by one of the investigating officers. Ultimately, however, justice was served by two grand juries in two separate jurisdictions who did what this detective refused to do: take a fair and impartial look at all of the evidence before reaching a conclusion.”
Watson, meanwhile, continues to practice with the Browns as the cases against him mount. He also is awaiting word from the NFL on what, if any, disciplinary action he will face. Watson signed a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract with the Browns this offseason.