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Watson, 25, is now facing an array of sexual misconduct and assault claims in Harris County District Court from 13 women – including six massage therapists. The claims stem from separate alleged incidents that date to March 30, 2020. One of the women who filed suit Monday alleges that the quarterback touched her with his genitals in an incident less than three weeks ago, on March 4.
Watson broadly denied any wrongdoing in a statement on social media last week, writing in part that he had "never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect." His attorney, Rusty Hardin, released a statement Friday asking the public to "keep an open mind" before Watson issues a response to the allegations this week.
"I’m extremely proud to represent Deshaun Watson and wholly stand behind him against what we believe are meritless allegations," Hardin said in part of the statement.
All 13 of the unnamed women who have filed suit against Watson are represented by millionaire attorney and former Houston mayoral candidate Tony Buzbee, who said in a news conference Friday that his firm had agreed to file lawsuits on behalf of 12 women but was also talking with "more than 10" others.
Buzbee also said Friday that "our next step" would be to submit evidence and affidavits to the Houston Police Department and Harris County District Attorney's Office, who would then consider whether to open a criminal case against Watson.
When asked Monday morning about any contact with Buzbee, police spokesperson Victor Senties referred USA TODAY Sports to the department's statement late last week, which said in part that "no incident reports regarding these allegations have been filed in our jurisdiction."
Dane Schiller, a spokesperson for the Harris County District Attorney, said: "It would be inappropriate for a District Attorney’s Office to comment any way on a civil lawsuit, and we refrain from publicly discussing allegations in any matter until and if a criminal charge is filed; We do this out of fairness to all."
The allegations in the six lawsuits filed Monday largely echo those that have been detailed in the remainder of the litigation. Five of the women allege that Watson exposed himself to them during massage sessions on April 19, Aug. 2, Jan. 21, March 4 and an unspecified date in July. Four of those women also claim he touched them with his genitals during the incident.
The sixth woman claims that Watson grabbed her genitals and tried to force her to perform oral sex during separate incidents in June and August of last year.
The lawsuits come as Watson, a three-time Pro Bowl honoree, is seeking to leave the Texans, who drafted him with the 12th overall pick in 2017. ESPN reported in January that the Clemson product had grown frustrated with management and requested a trade.
Contact Tom Schad at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Deshaun Watson hit with more lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct