The Houston Police Department has begun wading into the Deshaun Watson scandal.
The department announced through its Twitter account on Friday that it is conducting an investigation after receiving a report from a complainant regarding the Houston Texans star. The police declined to reveal the nature of the report or scope of their investigation.
Watson's camp was quick to respond to the news, with attorney Rusty Hardin saying they welcome the development and will cooperate with the investigation.
Statement from Deshaun Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, about the filing of a police report today concerning Watson: “We welcome this long overdue development. Now we will learn the identity of at least one accuser. We will fully cooperate with the Houston Police Department.”
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 2, 2021
Watson is currently facing 22 civil suits filed by Houston attorney Tony Buzbee on behalf of a group of massage therapists, with allegations ranging from inappropriate sexual behavior to sexual assault.
Buzbee later released a statement saying he was not involved in the criminal complaint filed Friday. He did however indicate that more complaints will follow, and that he had filed his 22nd civil case the same day.
In a statement, attorney Tony Buzbee said other criminal complaints against Deshaun Watson “will follow ... in Houston and other jurisdictions and with other agencies.” He also says he filed case No. 22 against Watson on Friday. pic.twitter.com/RO9yvNQltx
— Aaron Reiss (@aaronjreiss) April 3, 2021
Buzbee had publicly waffled on turning over information to the police, first saying he would then announcing he would not while citing concerns about the impartiality of the Houston Police Department. Buzbee said he had previously made critical comments about outgoing police chief Art Acevedo and noted that Hardin has a son on the Houston PD command staff.
Acevedo has previously said the department is ready to investigate the allegations against Watson while calling Buzbee's concerns "baseless assertions."
Mr. Buzbee can cast all the baseless assertions about the hard working men and women of @houstonpolice he wants, but he can’t run away from history and the truth of the professionalism of our men and women. We stand ready to investigate all allegations.https://t.co/uuDRQvJocY https://t.co/gc4xRllUDQ
— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) March 31, 2021
Hardin has also criticized Buzbee's handling of the police, saying Watson is ready to cooperate with police.
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