Texans GM: Watson lawsuits ‘certainly troubling’

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HOUSTON — Texans general manager Nick Caserio said the lawsuits filed against Deshaun Watson alleging sexual assault and inappropriate conduct are “certainly troubling” and something the team takes “very seriously.”

Houston lawyer Tony Buzbee has filed 19 civil lawsuits against Watson on behalf of women who allege inappropriate behavior and sexaul assault during massage sessions with the Texans quarterback. Three of the lawsuits filed Sunday night accuse Watson of “purposely” touching the women with his penis and state that his “behavior is part of a disturbing pattern.”

“We’re certainly cognizant and aware,” Caserio told the Texans All Access podcast. “We made a statement at the beginning about where the organization stood. I would say it’s a legal situation, it’s a legal process, so we’re certainly respectful of that.

“We certainly take them very seriously. The allegations, what’s been discussed, are certainly troubling. And organizationally that’s not something that we can condone, that we condone, those types of actions.”

Caserio’s comments on Watson’s situation are the first by a member of the team. Head coach David Culley has not spoken to the media since the first lawsuit was filed March 16. The team has released two statements and said in one that it would stay in close contact with the NFL during its investigation under the league’s personal conduct policy.

Watson has publicly denied any wrongdoing, and Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, said last week that he believes “any allegation that Deshaun forced a woman to commit a sexual act is completely false.”

Hardin also said in a statement last week that his law firm has “strong evidence” showing that one of the lawsuits alleging sexual assault is false and that it “calls into question the legitimacy of the other cases as well.”

Buzbee said earlier this month that he would submit affidavits and evidence from several women to the Houston Police Department and the Houston district attorney. Buzbee also said he will request that a grand jury consider the evidence and determine whether charges should be brought against Watson by the state of Texas.

Dane Schiller, a spokesperson for the Harris County district attorney, said last week that it would be “inappropriate” for the DA’s office to comment on the lawsuits against Watson.

“It would be inappropriate for the District Attorney’s Office to comment on a civil lawsuit, and we refrain from publicly discussing allegations in any matter until and if a criminal charge is filed; we do this out of fairness to all,” Schiller said in a statement.

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