Watson is set to appear for the first time in civil sexual misconduct lawsuits against him, as the legal camp prepares him for the mid-level fifth argument in testimony. This just happens when the Harris County District Attorney’s office begins presenting evidence to a Houston grand jury in the Watson criminal investigation.
It’s a major intersection between two legal tracks that spanned nearly one year, after 22 civil lawsuits were filed against Watson starting in March 2021.
Now there should be at least partial clarity in Watson’s legal future, as grand jury proceedings are expected to make a decision on whether the midfielder will be charged. for felony sexual assault.
While the two procedures are not directly related to each other, Watson’s legal camp attempted to postpone all of his testimony in civil cases until after a grand jury’s decision on a criminal indictment. The reasoning given in court by Watson’s defense attorney Rusty Harden was to avoid any opportunity for interference with Watson’s testimony that might affect grand jury proceedings. A judge rejected Harden’s efforts and ordered Watson’s nomination schedule to continue, leading to parallel proceedings Friday.
It would culminate, Hardin says, when Watson called the fifth in all his testimonial appearances until a decision was reached in the grand jury proceedings. The Fifth Amendment protects a person from being compelled in legal proceedings to testify as a witness against themselves.
Hardin told Yahoo Sports that he advises Watson to decline to answer questions in an effort to limit information in civil cases used in grand jury proceedings.
“The pleading of the fifth is by urgency—not Deschon,” Hardin said. “No lawyer in America will allow his client to answer questions in a civil lawsuit while the same facts and issues are being considered at the same time by a grand jury. I asked [opposing counsel] Tony Busby postpones [the deposition] One day I will be happy to let Deshaun answer the questions once the grand jury has finished their investigation. He refused because he wanted to create a wrong impression in the eyes of the public. Testifying during a grand jury investigation is unsuccessful. We will be happy to provide one once the criminal investigation is completed.”
Letters left to the Harris and Busby County District Attorney were not immediately returned on Tuesday.
It is unknown how long prosecutors will take to present evidence to a grand jury or whether that will be limited to Friday’s proceedings. However, lawyers involved in the proceedings told Yahoo Sports that “multiple” witnesses will be called to testify, including some of the 10 women who have filed civil and criminal complaints against Watson. Evidence collected by the Houston Police Department in the case will also be presented to the grand jury. However, Watson will not be required to appear before a grand jury, as the indictment is ultimately based on whether the jurors believe there is sufficient evidence and convincing testimony to charge Watson with a crime.
If that happens, Watson will have to plead the indictment and his criminal case will move forward. Conversely, if the jurors do not vote on the indictment, Watson will be released from criminal complaints as they are filed in the current procedure and will continue to move forward with his civil cases.
A decision on the indictment could be issued as soon as Friday.
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