HOUSTON - As cases continue to file in against Houston Texans' quarterback Deshaun Watson, people are now speaking up. On Tuesday, the first woman to file a sexual assault against the quarterback identified herself.
During a news conference at Texas lawyer Tony Buzbee's office, Ashley Solis, a massage therapist in the Houston area, recounted her experience working with Watson in the past.
"I got into massage therapy to heal people," Solis said. "To heal their minds and bodies. To bring peace to their souls. Deshaun Watson has robbed me of that. He took that away from me, he tainted a profession in which I take enormous pride.
“We were all deceived into thinking Deshaun Watson was a good guy. And we all know good guys can do terrible things.”
A fellow masseuse, Lauren Baxley, also released her name during the reading of a letter she wrote to Watson stating "Every boundary from professional and therapeutic to sexual and degrading you crossed or attempted to cross."
As of Tuesday morning, 22 allegations of sexual assault and harassment have been filed by Buzbee's office against Watson. Watson and his lawyer, Rusty Hardin, deny the allegations.
On Tuesday afternoon, Hardin responded to Solis' testimony.
Last month, it was reported that Watson had privately messaged several women on Instagram, hoping to find a settlement before court. It was then reported that the 25-year-old quarterback deleted the messages following the conversation.
Hardin stated that the claim was false as of this moment.
"Like a lot of people, Deshaun regularly deletes past Instagram messages," Hardin told the press in March. "That said, he has not deleted any messages since March 15, the day before the first lawsuit was filed. We categorically deny that he has reached out directly to his accusers in an attempt to settle these cases."
On Friday, the Houston Police Department released a statement saying they would undergoing a further investigation into the criminal complaint made against Watson.
“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.”
Earlier this week, Texans chairman and chief executive officer Cal McNair penned a letter to the fanbase, stating they are taking the allegations made against Waston “very seriously” as they prepare for the new season.
"While we await the conclusion of these investigations, we express our strong stance against any form of sexual assault," McNair stated. "Our family and the entire Houston Texans organization are deeply troubled by any form of abuse and we condemn this type of behavior. We will continue to commit resources to help prevent abusive behaviors from occurring in our community and ensure respect for all."
Multiple reports state the incidents occurred through 2020 and 2021, with one being filed in March of this past year. Several allegations state that several massages happened outside the state Texas in Georgia, California and Arizona.
Watson, who asked for a trade from the team earlier this offseason, was coming off his best season, leading the NFL with 4,823 passing yards and 33 passing touchdowns, a new franchise record.
Last September, the two sides agreed to a four-year extension worth $156 million, keeping him in Houston through the 2025 season.
Texans Daily will continue to keep you up to date with all things surrounding the investigation.
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