Deshaun Watson was not indicted. He also was not exonerated.
That’s what Harris County (Texas) District Attorney Kim Ogg wants everyone to remember about the gray area surrounding Watson as civil lawsuits accusing the Cleveland Browns quarterback of sexual misconduct continue to mount. A Harris County grand jury did not indict Watson — the former Houston Texans star — on nine criminal complaints in March, and that verdict cleared a path for his trade to the Browns.
In a legal context, failing to meet the burden of proof is not the same as declaring innocence, however.
Appearing on “The Mike Meltser Podcast” dedicated to sports law, Ogg wrapped up the interview by saying, “We respect our justice process. I love the law. It’s designed to get to the truth. That’s really what people want. I don’t think as a culture we can live with injustice. Remember, a grand jury no bill 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.”
Watson still faces 24 civil lawsuits from his former massage therapists and likely punishment from the NFL.
“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,” Ogg said. “And then people will determine whether that’s justice.”