Watson accused of sexual assault in 3rd lawsuit

NFL

HOUSTON — A third civil lawsuit filed against Deshaun Watson accuses the Houston Texans quarterback of sexually assaulting a massage therapist by allegedly forcing her to have oral sex with him in December 2020.

The lawsuit was filed by Houston attorney Tony Buzbee on Wednesday night and appeared on the Harris County district clerk’s website Thursday morning.

This is the third civil case filed against Watson this week. The previous two lawsuits were related to two separate incidents during which he is accused of committing “civil assault” by touching a massage therapist with his penis.

Buzbee said on Instagram on Wednesday night that there are six total cases against Watson. So far, only three lawsuits have been filed.

“Watson’s behavior is part of a disturbing pattern of preying on vulnerable women,” the lawsuit reads.

Watson responded on Twitter on Tuesday night after Buzbee announced the filing of the first lawsuit, saying he rejected “a baseless six-figure settlement demand” and that this is “about clearing my name, and I look forward to doing that.” At the time of his statement, Watson said he had not seen the first lawsuit.

“I have never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect,” Watson said in his statement.

The third lawsuit alleges Watson sent a direct message to the plaintiff over Instagram and then scheduled a massage for Dec. 28, 2020 at an office building in Houston.

After leaving the room, the massage therapist alleges she returned to find Watson lying on the massage table on his stomach with just a small towel covering his buttocks. She alleges that when Watson turned over midway through the massage, he “got more aggressive, forcefully telling her to move her hand down to his pubic area.”

The plaintiff alleges that she felt “intimidated and threatened” and “she was afraid of what someone like Watson could do if she did not submit to his demands.” She says in the lawsuit that Watson made it clear, repeatedly, that he could “help, or hurt, her career.” The lawsuit alleges Watson forced the woman to perform oral sex on him, and that she “did not consent.”

Watson’s Houston-based attorney, Rusty Hardin, told ESPN he first learned of the lawsuits involving the quarterback on Tuesday evening. Hardin said he spoke with Watson on Wednesday and agreed to represent him.

“I’m real comfortable with the kind of person that Deshaun Watson is, and I don’t like to publicly comment until I get all the facts,” Hardin said after the first two lawsuits were filed. He added “the allegations are really inconsistent with the kind of person he is.”

The Texans and the NFL on Wednesday said they are aware of the matter.

“We became aware of a civil lawsuit involving Deshaun Watson through a social media post last night,” the Texans’ statement said. “This is the first time we heard of the matter, and we hope to learn more soon. We take accusations of this nature that involve anyone within the Houston Texans organization seriously. We will await further information before making any additional statements on this incident.”

The NFL has declined further comment at this time.

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