Editor’s note: This story contains alleged accounts of sexual assault. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or at https://www.rainn.org
Rusty Hardin, who is representing Watson, argued in court that the deposition should be delayed, since it is unclear whether or not the quarterback will face criminal charges. A decision from the Harris County District Attorney on the status of those charges will possibly be given by Apr. 1, Hardin said.
“While there is a criminal investigation going on, it is only fair to wait and see if it results in charges or it doesn’t before one decides whether they’re going to submit somebody to depositions” Hardin said according to KHOU 11’s Zack Tawatari.
The court denied Hardin’s motion in delaying the deposition for those who filed civil complaints, but ruled that Watson will testify in the criminal complaint cases after Apr. 1.
The women in the nine civil cases have all been deposed, but none have filed criminal complaints against the quarterback. Watson reportedly faces 10 criminal complaints.
"Deshaun Watson’s team loudly and publicly claims he is innocent and wants nothing more than to clear his name, yet he refuses to sit in a room and face his accusers and answer questions under oath," Tony Buzbee, the lawyer representing the 22 women suing Watson, said per ESPN.
“Today [Watson] sought more delay. However, despite his efforts, the Court ruled that, at least with regard to the first nine plaintiffs, there will be no more delay.”
From March 16 until April 14, 23 lawsuits were filed against the Texans’ quarterback describing sexual harassment and sexual assault. According to the Harris County District Clerk's website, the allegations range from refusing to cover his genitals to forcing women to put his penis in their mouth.
One lawsuit was dropped by a plaintiff “for now,” according to court documents, “in light of privacy and security concerns.”
On Dec. 17, a judge signed a search warrant for many of Watson’s social media accounts, such as Facebook, Instagram and Cash App.
Per Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, Watson will be deposed when Hardin is available, as the attorney is handling a different trial at this time.
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