As reported yesterday by KPRC2 Houston, law enforcement has sought and received a search warrant from a Judge for Houston Texans Quarterback Deshaun Watson’s social media accounts. The warrant allows law enforcement to send subpoenas to Instagram, CashApp etc. seeking Watson’s social media activity during a roughly one-year period. The warrant indicates that Houston police are requesting this information as a part of a criminal investigation into allegations of “indecent assault”. The individual who sought the warrant is an 18-year veteran of the Houston Police Department’s Adult Sex Crimes Unit. The following is my analysis of what that all means.
The criminal investigation is nearly complete, and the convening of a grand jury is imminent
If law enforcement has gotten to the stage where they are sending out search warrants, that tells me that law enforcement is comfortable with the alleged victims and ready to present them to a grand jury. Thus, if the prosecution and/or law enforcement did not believe the alleged victims, it doesn’t matter what Deshaun Watson said via social media. His defense attorneys would easily be able to explain anything away and the prosecution would be looking at a high-profile defeat as a jury would likely give him the benefit of the doubt. The story that will likely be told is one that Watson solicited these women via social media to perform massages at his house. Instagram will show the communications and CashApp will show exactly what Deshaun Watson paid for the alleged massages. With the social media accounts and victim cooperation, the prosecution can now tell the story. That story could potentially be that Watson lured these women to his residence under false pretenses and solicited them for sex and when some refused, he forced those women to perform oral sex on him. As we have seen in the lawsuits, three separate women alleged Watson forced their mouths onto his penis. That is textbook Sexual Assault under Texas Law.
Allegations of indecent assault
The 18-year veteran in the Adult Sex Crimes division who drafted the search warrant had to know that it would eventually leak to the media. An 18-year veteran sex crimes detective knows if the warrant stated Sexual Assault, this story would become national news if not worldwide news considering sexual assault is a serious forcible felony and it involves a Pro Bowl NFL Quarterback for the 4th largest city in the country. Law enforcement prefers to investigate when all eyes are not on them. Under Texas Law Sec. 22.012 (defining indecent assault) (a) A person commits an offense if, without the other person’s consent and with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, the person: 3) Exposes or attempts to expose another person’s genitals, pubic area, anus, buttocks or female areola. An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a 1 year in jail. That definition absolutely fits the numerous accounts by various women that Watson allegedly exposed himself to them and sexually gratified himself in their presence. I believe indecent assault charges will be included but you don’t convene a grand jury for something that you can charge yourself via an information. You only convene a grand jury because felonies in the State of Texas require the prosecution to convene a grand jury. I expect the grand jury to be convened sometime in January or February at the latest. An indictment could very well come down during the week before the Super Bowl.
We are in the Endgame now in the Deshaun Watson Criminal Investigation.
Matthew F. Tympanick is the Founder/Principal of Tympanick Law, P.A., located in Sarasota, Florida where he focuses his practice on Criminal Defense. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts School of Law where he served as a Public Interest Fellow and as a Staff Editor on the UMass Law Review. He was previously a felony prosecutor in Sarasota, Florida. In over three years as a prosecutor, he prosecuted thousands of misdemeanor and felony criminal cases. You can follow him on Twitter @Tympanick20 and @TympanickLaw. Arrested or Injured? Don’t Panic…Call Tympanick. www.tympanicklaw.com