10 Women Have Filed Criminal Complaints with Police About NFL Quarterback Deshaun Watson: Lawyer
Watson faces a civil lawsuit from 22 women who accuse him of sexual misconduct
At least 10 women have reportedly filed complaints with the Houston Police Department against the NFL player Deshaun Watson, accusing him of sexual misconduct.
Watson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, confirmed the existence of the complaints to ESPN.com on Monday. The Houston Police Department confirms to PEOPLE that complaints have been filed, but were unable to give any further details, citing the ongoing investigation.
According to Watson's attorney, eight of the women are among the 22 women who have filed civil suits accusing Watson of sexual misconduct. The lawsuits allege that the 25-year-old Houston Texans quarterback assaulted and harassed numerous women by "exposing himself" or "touching [them] with his penis" during massages that occurred in 2020.
"Watson's behavior is part of a disturbing pattern of preying on vulnerable women," one of the lawsuits alleges. Another lawsuit called Watson a "serial predator."
Many of the lawsuits allege Watson reached out to the women over Instagram and then met them in hotel rooms, homes and massage offices.
In one of the lawsuits, a woman who worked as a licensed therapist at her home alleged that during the massage, Watson "repeatedly stated that he wanted her to focus on his groin area."
The woman alleged that she began to feel uncomfortable and "it became apparent that Watson wanted a massage for only one reason — sex," the lawsuit alleges.
Hardin told ESPN that Watson has cooperated with Houston police and the Harris County District Attorney's office.
"We're dealing with both of them, providing them information," Hardin told the website. "We're fully cooperating with the police. We're fully cooperating with the district attorney's office and, when the criminal investigation is over, we'll fully cooperate with the NFL."
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When the allegations against Watson surfaced in March, he issued a statement to PEOPLE and other media outlets, denying any wrongdoing.
"As a result of a social media post by a publicity-seeking plaintiff's lawyer, I recently became aware of a lawsuit that has apparently been filed against me," he wrote at the time. "I have not yet seen the complaint, but I know this: I have never treated any woman with anything other than the utmost respect."
"The plaintiff's lawyer claims that this isn't about money, but before filing [the] suit he made a baseless six-figure settlement demand, which I quickly rejected," he continued. "Unlike him, this isn't about money for me – it's about clearing my name, and I look forward to doing that."
The Houston Police Department tells PEOPLE that there are no current charges against Watson, but the investigation is ongoing.