Lead Detective in Deshaun Watson Cases says Police Were of “One Mind” that Watson Committed a Crime Against All Ten Women Who Filed Complaints
In shocking testimony under oath during her deposition, lead police Detective Kamesha Baker says, that after investigating the claims filed with the Houston Police Department against Deshaun Watson, she believed that Watson committed a crime against all ten women who filed complaints, and her fellow officers agreed with her.
This testimony makes the decisions by two Grand Juries not to recommend charges against the Cleveland Browns Quarterback even more shocking. In a recorded deposition, Baker, who has six years of experience working in the Adult Sex Crimes Department at Houston Police, said that after questioning every complainant and witness who cooperated and examining documents and evidence, she concluded that a crime had occurred in each of the ten cases.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Tony Buzbee asked her: “was there any disagreement amongst your team or the police that a crime had occurred?” Baker responds, “No.”
Buzbee continues, “So the police were of one mind?” Baker replies, “yes.”
Buzbee went on to ask Baker whether she noticed a pattern of escalating behavior. She replied: “the first case to the last one, I can say there appeared to be a pattern of escalation, yes.”
She later continued, “In the ten instances we went from mere indecent exposure, which I think earlier that’s what you were asking did we consider any other crimes, indecent exposure. Indecent exposure of his penis and touching her hand in that particular instance to based on X’s (name redacted) allegation and account him trying to force her head onto his penis to X (name redacted), shortly after actually having sexual encounter with him in the session and then subsequently in December also having a sexual encounter with him, the individuals in between, being Toi Garner, in November, and X, Y, Z (accusers names redacted) September, October, it appeared there was an escalating pattern.”
Buzbee asks Baker whether she felt that Watson’s conduct was escalating such that maybe he would commit even more serious crimes. It is unclear if Buzbee was referring to rape or the possibility of future, other more serious crimes.
Baker replies, “I did feel that the way that these cases were going, that that could be an outcome.”
Later Buzbee asks Baker if she had a grudge or ax to grind with Watson, to which she says, “No. I mean I don’t know him.”
She later continues, “I didn’t immediately think that he was guilty. I wanted to give Mr. Watson the benefit of the doubt and give Mr. Watson the opportunity to provide his side of what happened. Which I explained to you and Mr. Hardin that that’s what we do. We’re going to get both sides to get to the truth of it.”
Throughout this intense line of questioning, Watson’s attorney Rusty Hardin repeatedly objected to the form of questions being posed to Detective Baker.
Detective Baker told Buzbee there was no doubt in her mind that a crime had occurred. Buzbee asked her if she found issues with the credibility or truthfulness of any of the ten accusers and she said “No.” Baker said she was able to get hotel records to confirm a lot of dates and compile a timeline involving upwards of fifty massage therapists. She also mentioned one accuser, Toi Garner, having a very “compelling and powerful” account and says, Garner “had all the evidence to support it.”
Garner, a single mother and flight attendant, who Baker says knew Watson prior to the massages, claimed that Watson aggressively pursued a massage with her while she was a massage student in training. Garner had not yet received her license to provide massage therapy. Her legal complaint claims that Watson initially tried to get her to massage him at the Houstonian hotel but she refused and they ended up doing the massages in the living room of her mother’s house.
The complaint says Garner thought it was odd that Watson wanted a massage from an unlicensed student when he had access to an entire team of professional trainers and massage therapists. She claims Watson sent a barrage of messages and was very persistent, even contacting her best friend who then persuaded her to do the massage.
In text messages, attached to her civil suit, Watson is allegedly asking Garner for a massage and when she says she cannot do one that day he replies, “Damn nothing you can squeeze in an hour.” He then asks, “what’s a contact I can hit you on” and says “Just tryna support black businesses,” which the complaint claims Watson repeated to other women “in an attempt to groom them.”
In another message Garner asks if a massage after 7 works for Watson, to which he replies, “what you doing before 7.” Garner says she is in the process of moving and Watson, seemingly eager, writes, “and you couldn’t get away just for an hour from moving?”
Garner tells Watson to give her a few to get back to him and he says he will be at the Houstonian Hotel or if she has a place he can come to her. The civil filing says, “Watson was so persistent that he offered to drive thirty-five minutes, one-way, to see Plaintiff in Manvel, Texas, at her mother’s house, so they could do the massage.” The filing says Watson brought his own towel.
“He kept saying ‘get up in there’ and ‘don’t be scared’ and ‘you can use your fingers’ and ‘you can get closer.’ Plaintiff did not understand what he wanted her to do. Again, there was nowhere for her to go other than actually in his anus—which she was not going to do. Watson kept telling Plaintiff ‘I am just trying to help you and show you how it’s done.'”
The filing does not accuse Watson of sexually assaulting plaintiff during the first session. The document says, Plaintiff massaged Watson a second time and during that session “Watson’s
penis also contacted Plaintiff’s hand several times because Watson kept aggressively moving his penis towards Plaintiff’s hand, clearly trying to get her to touch it. Plaintiff attempted to remain professional. Without any warning or involvement from the Plaintiff, Watson then ejaculated. The semen got all over Plaintiff’s arm and hand. Plaintiff was trying to be professional but she was deeply disturbed at this point.”
The filing claims Watson asked Garner about getting another massage that same day. He later allegedly sent her a text, according to the filing, saying “Maybe 4:30 pm? At Houstonian. I see you’re getting comfortable with certain techniques and areas.”
“When Plaintiff declined to do the next massage, Watson texted her incessantly almost every day afterwards asking for another massage. Plaintiff did not respond to his messages. Watson also called the Plaintiff almost three times a day. Plaintiff did not answer his calls. Plaintiff felt violated, disgusted, used and betrayed. She wanted nothing further to do with Deshaun Watson.”
Rusty Hardin also had a chance to depose Detective Baker. In his line of questioning, Baker said she always starts by believing all the victims. “So in your world of investigation, the defendant always has to prove his innocence? “Hardin asked. “Yes,” replied Baker. She went on to say, she would believe the victims until the defendant disproved the claims.
In the criminal justice system, the burden of proof is typically on the prosecution to prove allegations beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury and the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty and convicted.
Baker went on to say, “It’s not about convincing. It’s about is there evidence to corroborate your — your client’s version of what happened. Because as you stated before, in the other world of investigating cases, the defendant is presumed innocent. This is the only crime — that’s the reason why they’re hard to prosecute and charge and do all of this — is that the women never get the benefit of doubt. They’re always presumed to be lying.”
Hardin later continued, “All right. So if you start out believing the accusation of the woman no matter what and …it becomes our burden to convince you that somebody did not do something, and then the lawyer’s advice is for the client not to talk to the police and let the police make their mind up based on everything else that’s available, you’re going to automatically decide he did it?”
Baker responded, “So I’m glad you put it like that because in reality, in our world that’s exactly how it happens….we get charges from that point…And the defendant would be charged, and of course naturally you would go to court and represent him and present all your evidence to say otherwise… And we would let the jury decide.”
Watson, who signed a five-year, $230 Million Dollar contract with the Cleveland Browns has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, claiming that any sexual encounters with any of the dozens of massage therapists he used, were completely consensual. His attorneys claim that any of the sexual encounters occurred consensually after the massages were over. Recently, Two Grand Juries declined to recommend criminal charges against the Quarterback.
On Thursday, the NFL wrapped a three-day hearing to determine whether or not Watson will be disciplined under the NFL’s personal conduct policy. Watson, who is also represented by the NFLPA, in addition to his attorneys, is reportedly requesting no discipline.
The NFL is reportedly asking for discipline in at least one, possibly up to five of the cases, according to several news outlets. The burden of proof for discipline is on the NFL, which is appealing to an arbitrator and former federal judge to impose discipline on the Quarterback that could potentially sideline him for most or all of next season.
Watson can appeal any decision and Roger Goodell or his appointee can modify any suspension imposed. If arbitrator Sue Robinson decides no discipline is warranted, that would stick and no modification would take place. Robinson is expected to decide whether to impose discipline on a case by case basis.
Watson recently settled twenty of the twenty four civil lawsuits filed against him. However, Tony Buzbee says more may be coming. The Houston Texans have been attached as a defendant to one of the remaining civil lawsuits and are accused of enabling Watson’s behavior by providing him with a non-disclosure agreement, a massage table and a membership to the Houstonian Hotel.
Watson is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Any claims in civil suits, are mere allegations unless supported by evidence.
Several accusers names have been redacted, however, one accuser, Toi Garner, who has an active, public lawsuit moving forward and has not settled is mentioned above.