Deshaun Watson case: If allegations are true, this could be 'career killer', legal expert says

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- For the first time, the public is seeing and hearing from one of the 22 women who claim Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson either sexually harassed or sexually assaulted them while giving him a massage.

Ashley Solis and the other women have all filed a lawsuit against the football star. Solis said the incident involving her and Watson took place on March 30 inside her home.

"I replay the incident over and over as if I'm trying to wake up," said Solis in tears during a press conference on Tuesday. "Only that nightmare is real."

READ MORE: 1 of Deshaun Watson's accusers speaks publicly for 1st time
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We now know the names of two of the women accusing Deshaun Watson of unwanted sex acts. With Houston attorney Tony Buzbee at her side, one of the women spoke, through tears, for the first time.



Solis's laywer, Tony Buzbee, provided the media with hard copies of text messages, Instagram direct messages and non-disclosure agreements that Watson allegedly had the women sign. ABC13 knows now that two women have filed formal complaints with the Houston Police Department on their own.

Eyewitness News spoke with legal analyst Steve Shellist about the developments on this case and he said this is a game changer.

"Once you make a criminal complaint, and the police become involved, it becomes a lot more serious," said Shellist. "When you have over 20 victims that have come forward, if they are true, this is something we have not seen yet, so what does it do? It's certainly a career killer."

Shellist said this does not mean Watson is by any means guilty and said he deserves a full and fair investigation.

Click through this immersive experience to read about each of the 22 lawsuits. For a better experience on the app, click here to see the experience on its own page.


Normally, these lawsuits are played out in a court room, but instead, it's all playing out in the media for everyone to judge for themselves.

"Football fans can be very loyal," said Shellist. "I'm sure people are very divided without knowing what the truth was."

Shortly after Solis went public, the quarterback's lawyer fired back at claims that she and fellow accusers aren't going after his money.

According to Rusty Hardin, Watson's attorney, Solis had demanded $100,000 to stay quiet about the allegations.

As for Watson, he has publicly denied any wrong doing. There have also been 18 professional massage therapists that have come out in support of Watson. Shellist said at this point, anything can happen from either side, but with HPD involved now, things could possibly get heavy for Watson if they find reason to file charges.

"I mean, this is something that a person like that can end up with a conviction, but the accusations, [there is] potential for prison time, and the potential for a lifetime of registration, at least here in state of Texas," Shellist said.

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