HOUSTON - It's been nearly two weeks since a grand jury declined to criminally charge Deshaun Watson. And while reports from the New York Times Thursday morning suggested grand jury in Brazoria County was seeking another charge, this no longer seems to be the case.
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The report from the Times claimed a grand jury in Brazoria County, just south of Houston past Sugar Land was looking into evidence from the 10th accusation of sexual misconduct against the former Houston Texans Quarterback.
However, later that afternoon, Brazoria County confirmed via District Attorney Tom Selleck, a grand jury declined to indict him.
"After a careful and thorough review of the facts and evidence documented in the reports prepared by the Brazoria County Sheriff's Office and the Houston Police Department, as well as hearing testimony from witnesses, and the Grand Jury for Brazoria County has declined to charge Deshaun Watson with any crimes," Selleck said in a statement. "Accordingly, this matter is closed."
This new report also comes almost a week after Watson was traded to the Cleveland Browns.
The grand jury’s decision in early March came about a year after the women first filed their suits, accusing Watson of exposing himself, touching them with his penis, or kissing them against their will during massage appointments. One woman alleged Watson forced her to perform oral sex.
During a special hearing in February, Rusty Hardin, Watson's attorney, asked the judge to delay the deposition of his client until there is a resolution with the criminal case filed against him, saying there will be prejudicial impacts.
The judge ultimately ruled the deposition can go on, but will be restricted to the nine accusers who have not filed a criminal complaint. Eight of the women who sued Watson filed criminal complaints against him with Houston police and appeared before the grand jury. Two other women who didn’t sue Watson also filed police complaints.
Watson's attorney Rusty Hardin issued the following statement to FOX 26:
"We are thrilled that the Brazoria County grand jury cleared Deshaun Watson of the one remaining criminal allegation. We’ve known all along what people who learn the facts also know - Deshaun committed no crimes. In fact, two separate grand juries have now found that there wasn’t even probable cause to believe he committed a crime.
"Once the Harris County cases were concluded, we were informed that Brazoria County intended to present their case to a grand jury on Wednesday March 23. We, and the complainant, were offered the opportunity to provide any information we wanted to the grand jury.
"It’s important to note that both we and the Cleveland Browns knew this grand jury presentation was pending and attempted not to discuss it publicly until it was completed. Now that the criminal investigations and two different grand jury presentations have been completed, I hope the public and the media will take to heart the closing statement from the Brazoria County district attorney’s letter stating: "Accordingly, this matter is closed."
"It is time to let the civil litigation proceed at a normal pace and for Deshaun Watson to take his place as the quarterback of the future for the Browns. I am fully confident that the Cleveland community will discover that Deshaun Watson is not just a great quarterback but also an incredibly decent person they will be proud to have represent their city."
FOX 26 has also reached out to Tony Buzbee, who is representing several women involved in the lawsuit, but we have not heard back from him, as of this writing.
This is a developing story and will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.