CLEVELAND (WJW) — A Houston police detective has testified that FBI officials told her they were investigating Deshaun Watson and one of the 24 women who filed lawsuits against the quarterback.
Houston Police Detective Kamesha Baker made the statement during a statement taken in Houston earlier this month. Baker, who was investigating 10 criminal charges against Watson, revealed during testimony that she had communicated with the FBI.
“Have they ever told you they’re investigating any of the women who complained?” asked attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents the 24 women suing Watson.
The detective replied, “They just told us later that it was them.”
She added that she was told it was “something about blackmail”.
When asked if the FBI is also investigating Watson, she said yes.
Buzbee asked if the detective knew what happened to the FBI investigation and she said no.
The I-Team contacted the FBI in Houston and was told that the agency could neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation.
The I-Team received a copy of Baker’s statement on Thursday. The I-Team also received a video clip of part of Watson’s marketing manager’s testimony, stating that he was being questioned by FBI agents.
Bryan Burney said in the statement that the FBI spoke to him about one of the accusers demanding money from Watson before she filed a lawsuit.
“It was specifically about the extortion of Deshaun, nothing else,” Burney said in his statement.
Watson will not face criminal charges. Two Texas grand juries declined to indict him on criminal charges.
However, Baker, who investigated the cases, said Watson should have been charged.
“Do you believe that a criminal offense was committed in relation to all 10 applicants?” asked Buzbee Baker.
Her answer was: “Yes”.
She was then asked if she had filed any charges in the case.
“No,” Baker said. “We have not charged anyone because I have not – I am not allowed to press charges. I present what I think to the prosecution and explain my reasoning to them and then they tell me yes or no, we can press charges. Or go straight to the grand jury, which happened in this case. I don’t know what happened on the grand jury.”
Attorney Rusty Hardin, Watson’s lead counsel, said he was “baffled” by part of Baker’s testimony, in which she said the “defendant needed to prove his innocence.”
“In another part, she volunteered that when there’s power and influence in the room, there can’t be consent,” Hardin said. “All I can tell you is that when this case comes to a jury trial, the public will be appalled when they realize that Deshaun Watson would never get a fair hearing from this officer.”
He noted that the detective also said she completed her investigation in September before one of the accusers was removed.
However, Buzbee says the detective said under oath “over and over again” that she felt the quarterback had committed “more than 10 sex crimes.”
“She said her words, she believed, based on her knowledge, skill, education and experience, that Deshaun Watson committed 10 crimes,” Buzbee told the I-Team.
Buzbee has also stated that more lawsuits could be filed against Watson soon.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Watson again said he wanted to clear his name.
“I’ve been honest and I’ve been truthful about my position,” Watson said. “I’ve never forced anyone. I’ve never attacked anyone.”
Attorneys on both sides continue to testify in the case. Both Buzbee and Hardin said they don’t expect any of the cases to go to trial until next year.
The NFL is also investigating Watson. NFL investigators met with Watson in May and earlier this month. Investigators are trying to determine if the 26-year-old violated the league’s personal conduct guidelines. If they find he has violated the policy, he faces disciplinary action, including suspension and fines.
Hardin said he expects the NFL to make a decision sometime in late June or early July.
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