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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Bridges: Resolution in Watson case is long overdue

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It’s a topic that’s difficult to discuss in society today.

Sexual assault is a heinous crime and those found guilty of such must pay the price for their terrible transgressions. Every victim must be heard and their day of reckoning must be provided as well.

Yes, all the aforementioned is of the utmost importance and everyone involved is entitled to a swift investigation of the facts and certainly their day in court if indeed a crime occurs.

After all, victims have rights that must be protected fairly and all this must transpire in a reasonable time frame.

Unless of course you’re Deshaun Watson and there’s a circus surrounding you and what’s left of both your personal and professional life. Now let’s get something straight about my perspective on sexual assault cases. I am in no way insinuating that those who’ve filed numerous civil suits and criminal complaints against Watson are anything less than credible.

If the facts show he’s guilty on just one case, then the appropriate sentence must be handed down and financial restitution in the civil cases most certainly should be made immediately to all harmed.

All that being said, what in the world is taking so long to gather the facts and determine if the cases have the necessary merit to warrant charges? Has everyone forgotten the amount of time that’s passed in these matters without any resolution for the 22 civil cases and 10 criminal complaints filed against him?

What could possibly be taking so long for the lengthy list of individuals to have their claims validated or rebutted fully?

Who’s to blame for what has now become a debacle? The attorneys for the accusers? Watson’s counsel? The Houston Police Department? The NFL?

Take your pick, as there’s clearly plenty of blame to go around in this troubling case.

All the while, a man’s future remains in limbo. Sure, he’s been getting paid throughout this ordeal, but the clock is ticking on his personal life and career. Most of the talk currently centers around whether or not he’ll be traded before the NFL deadline, but all that does is change his professional ZIP code as the problems surrounding this case will follow him to his new employer who will hope their roll of the dice to acquire a player who probably won’t be on a football field this year works out for them next season.

The wait-and-see attitude the NFL has taken has undoubtedly discouraged many teams from pursuing a trade for Watson, and that too could’ve been avoided with some timely due process prevailing opposed to the “We’ll get to this eventually” approach that is ongoing.

Again, if Watson is guilty of sexual assault, then it’s time for him to become accountable and face his accusers, who also have had the unfortunate distinction of enduring the unconscionable delays related to these complicated matters.

My point is there has been ample time to ascertain the facts and make the appropriate decision that would either uphold the claims against Watson or simply give him his life and career back.

It’s time for the Houston Police Department to “wrap up” their investigation and for the courts to either order civil restitution or dismiss the cases in their entirety, but for what little is left here in terms of decency and credibility, resolve this situation now.

I’m not proclaiming Watson is innocent; I’m simply saying the due process train has left the station and is about to jump the tracks for good. We’re talking about people being damaged by what to date could be deemed as incompetence by the authorities involved and, yes, the 800-pound gorilla in the room that goes by the name of the National Football League too. Get this matter resolved and give Watson what’s left of his life back.

Do it now while you still can.

Danny Bridges, who is in no way shape or form questioning the credibility of the accusers and is simply pointing out the charade being categorized as due process for both sides, can be reached at 317-370-8447 or at bridgeshd@aol.com.

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