Friday, a judge ruled in favor of Deshaun Watson in the alleged sexual assault saga, which accuses the Houston Texans star quarterback of over 20 claims of sexual assault and inappropriate conduct.
The court ruled that 13 of the 22 plaintiffs must either identify themselves when filing these sexual assault claims, within two business days, or their cases will be dropped completely. The plaintiffs’ identities are now listed as “Jane Doe,” which protects their privacy while the case runs its course.
What does this mean in terms of Watson’s case?
Watson and his camp have argued, and the court ruled in his favor, that he can’t properly defend himself against anonymous accusers in a court of law. Going forward, if the plaintiffs want to continue pursuing these charges they’ll have to reveal their government names.
I spoke with Greensboro based Domestic Relations Law Attorney, Carole Albright, who has practiced in this field for over 20 years. Carole agreed with the Houston court ruling, ” The issue here is that they have to specifically identify the accusers. They can’t just say 22 women have alleged you assaulted them. He has the right to know who is making the allegations.”
As the 6th amendment states, you have the right to know who your accusers are and the evidence levied against you.
Why has the NFL been silent throughout the process?
The NFL has strangely been very quiet throughout this debacle, especially given the nature of the accusations – placing one of its high-profile athletes in over 20 plus sexual assault claims. What message does this really send to the league, players, and most importantly women (who make up over 30 percent of the fans and viewership in the NFL)? Yes we know he hasn’t been formally indicted or convicted. Everything is still allegations at this point, with no evidence besides “he say/she say”. We have seen time and time again the inconsistency of punishment being levied down from Roger Goodell. We have seen players, who were not even indicted by a grand jury or officially charged in a court of law, suspended by league.
What is the Texans’ stance on these claims?
The Texans informed all season ticket holders of their continued loyalty to the organization through the allegations against their star quarterback. In the letter, the organization reiterated the importance of not condoning this type of behavior, while also asking fans to allow the legal process to play out before casting judgement. Nevertheless, as expected, the Texans do not in any way, shape or form, condone sexual assault.
Do you believe Cal McNair and the Texans will release Watson before the league and Goodell potentially place him on the commissioners exempt list, and if so, is that the morally correct thing to do without Watson being officially convicted by a group of his peers in a court of law?
However you view these transgressions, Deshaun Watson’s life will forever be changed. There will be some who think regardless of what is said throughout the media, he’s guilty as mentioned. There will be those who think he’s wrongly being accused. And finally, there will be those who say let the process play out and let’s see their truth, his truth, and the final truth, according to authorities and the court of law.