According to orders by a pair of Texas judges on Friday, they state they will effectively require 13 of the 22 women who have anonymously filed lawsuits against Deshaun Watson to reveal themselves publicly.
The orders came during separate hearings in Harris County District Court, after Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, argued that 13 of women’s names be released publically so his client could “have a chance at properly defending himself,” The Associated Press reported.
According to USA Today, the women sued under the name Jane Doe.
With the rulings in effect, this will mean that as many as 13 of these accusers will be publicly known by the middle of next week. Two of the women, Ashley Solis and Lauren Baxley, already came forward during a news conference earlier this week.
The first woman, Ashley Solis, recently stated at the conference that she was assaulted and traumatized when she tried to give Watson a massage in March 2020.
“I come forward now so that Deshaun Watson does not assault another woman. I am seeking justice not just on behalf of myself but for all survivors. This is about having my voice heard,” she said.
Solis said that she now has panic attacks, anxiety, depression and is no longer comfortable working as a massage therapist.
Ashley Solis is the first woman to come forward publicly to accuse Deshaun Watson of sexual assault'
"I am survivor of assault and harassment, Deshaun Watson is my assaulter and my harasser, he assaulted me at my home doing what I love most, massage therapy" pic.twitter.com/oA8luucYNk
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) April 6, 2021
Lauren Baxley is the second accuser to make her identity known to the public. From what has been reported, Baxley has worked with plenty of professional athletes before working with Watson.
Baxley didn’t speak publicly but wrote a letter that was read in the conference. In the letter, Baxley stated she “tried not be be sick” after the Texans quarterback told her to grab his genitals during a massage last year. Baxley blasted Watson for allegedly crossing what she called “every boundary from therapeutic and profession to sexual and degrading.”
She said that after the session, she felt shame and terror that no one would believe her.
Tony Buzbee, the lawyer defending the women, told District Judge Rabeea Collier that nine women agreed to make their names known publicly. Collier ordered at least three other women must do the same.
Watson has denied the allegations against him after the first lawsuit was filed on March 16.
In addition to the civil lawsuits facing him, Watson is being investigated by the NFL under the league’s personal conduct policy. The Houston Police Department is also investigating a criminal complaint concerning Watson.
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