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Deshaun Watson: Woman claims terrorized by Houston Texans assault QB |  NFL News


Ashley Solis said she was assaulted and traumatized when she tried to give Deshaun Watson a massage in March 2020. Watson has been charged with sexual assault or harassment in lawsuits brought by 22 women. NFL said it is investigating allegations against Watson

Last updated: 06/04/21 23:54 pm

NFL investigates allegations about Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson

The first woman to charge Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson with sexual assault and harassment in a lawsuit spoke publicly on Tuesday, saying she was terrified of meeting the NFL player and that he should be held accountable for their actions.

During a press conference, Ashley Solis said she was assaulted and traumatized when she tried to give Watson a massage in March 2020. Solis has chosen to identify herself publicly.

“I am standing up now so that Deshaun Watson does not assault another woman. I am seeking justice not only on my behalf but for all survivors,” Solis said at the press conference.

“It’s about making my voice heard,” Solis said tearfully as she read a statement, adding that she was no longer afraid to speak out.

Watson has been charged with sexual assault or harassment in lawsuits brought by 22 women.

Solis’s description of his meeting with Watson, in which he allegedly touched her with his penis during the massage session, reflects the accusations made by the other women in their lawsuits. They accuse Watson of exposing himself, touching them with his penis, or kissing them against their will while he is being massaged.

At least one woman has alleged that Watson forced her to have oral sex during a massage in December. All of the women who sued Watson are licensed massage therapists or have worked in a spa or similar business. Solis’ first lawsuit was filed on March 16 and the most recent was filed on Monday.

Watson’s attorney Rusty Hardin called the allegations unfounded and questioned the allegations against Watson, alleging that they were made following an unsuccessful attempt to blackmail his client for $ 30,000 ( £ 21,701).

The Houston Police Department said last week it was investigating Watson after a complainant filed a report with the agency about Watson. Tony Buzbee, who represents the 22 women, said it was not Solis but another of his clients who filed the first report with police.

Solis said in her statement that since the alleged assault she suffers from panic attacks, anxiety, depression and is no longer comfortable working as a massage therapist.

“I got into massage therapy to heal people, to heal their minds and bodies, to bring peace to their souls. Deshaun Watson stole this from me, ”Solis said, adding that his trial was not about the search for money.

But in a statement, Hardin alleged that Buzbee requested $ 100,000 (£ 72,306) in “silent money” on behalf of Solis before filing his complaint.

Hardin’s statement included copies of February emails between Buzbee’s company and Scott Gaffield, an attorney for Watson, discussing the $ 100,000 settlement.

“My e-mail exchanges were very clear. We didn’t think the facts showed Deshaun had done anything wrong with their client. We believed then and fully believe now that Deshaun learned a lesson about the don’t know setting, ”Gaffield said in a statement.

At Tuesday’s press conference, a lawyer for Buzbee’s firm read a letter written by another of the women who accused Watson of sexual assault and also chose to be publicly identified.

In the letter, Lauren Baxley called Watson a powerful predator and alleged that he touched her with his penis several times during a massage session. She said that after the session she felt the shame and terror that no one would believe her.

“There is trauma associated with unwanted sexual touching and assault in a place that is supposed to bring peace and therapy, but there are even deeper terrors that you have brought into my life,” Baxley said.

In a recent email to season ticket holders, Houston Texans president Cal McNair, whose family owns the team, said they were aware of the Watson lawsuits and the team were taking the allegations. very seriously.

“While awaiting the conclusion of these investigations, we express our firm position against any form of sexual assault. Our family and the entire Houston Texans organization are deeply troubled by any form of abuse and we condemn this type of behavior, ”said McNair.

The NFL said it is investigating the allegations against Watson.

Watson is one of the best quarterbacks in the league and led the NFL in passing yards last season. He signed a four-year, $ 156 million contract extension with the Texans last offseason, but has grown unhappy with the team’s direction as Houston fell to 4-12. Watson requested a trade in January.

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