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#pounditWednesday, August 10, 2022

District attorney issues reminder about Deshaun Watson case

Deshaun Watson at a press conference

Mar 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with the media during a press conference at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson was traded to the Cleveland Browns not long after two different grand juries in Texas declined to indict him on sexual assault charges. NFL teams considered that a huge victory for Watson, but Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg wants to remind everyone that it does not mean the star quarterback is innocent.

Ogg, who is in charge of the prosecutor’s office in Houston, discussed the Watson case during an appearance on “The Mike Meltser Podcast” this week. She said the legal process is “designed to get the truth” but cautioned that a lack of grand jury indictment is “not an exoneration.”

“People, even when they clear the criminal justice system, often face accountability and repercussions in other parts of our legal system,” Ogg said, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “And so I think to determine whether justice was done in this case you’re going to have to wait and see how it all comes out on the civil side of things and then through the NFL on the administrative side of things. And then people will determine whether that’s justice.”

Watson is facing sexual assault lawsuits from 24 women, and more could still be filed. The teams that pursued him obviously were not as concerned about the civil suits as they were the potential of criminal charges. Though, one team did back out of the sweepstakes because the lawsuits weren’t settled.

The NFL is reportedly seeking a lengthy suspension for Watson. Criminal charges would have had a bigger impact on his career, but he is far from out of the woods in terms of consequences.

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