The civil cases against Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson involve a broad and comprehensive effort to find potentially relevant evidence. That effort recently involved obtaining sworn testimony from a Houston police detective who believes Watson committed crimes.
Via Brent Schrotenboer from USA today, Detective Kamesha Baker testified that she shared that opinion with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Baker also said she did not know why the grand jury chose not to indict Watson.
Detective Baker, according to Schrotenboer, said she believed Watson had committed indecent assault, sexual assault and prostitution, in cases where consensual sex occurred and money changed hands. hands.
Baker received this question: “Do you feel confident that you have the necessary evidence to prosecute these charges?”
“Yes,” she answered.
He was then asked this: “And was there any doubt in your mind as an investigator that a crime had been committed?”
“No,” she replied.
She also said there was no disagreement within her team that Watson had committed any crimes. Baker testified that she met with prosecutor Johna Stallings to share her views on the matter.
“I told him we found the complainants credible and reliable,” Baker said. “That’s why we issued a warrant stating that they were credible and reliable.”
Baker did not testify in Harris County grand jury proceedings on nine criminal complaints. She said Stallings told her that Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, would object to Baker testifying before the grand jury. It’s confusing, because the suspect’s attorney has no standing to oppose anything the prosecutor does during the grand jury proceedings.
“The presumption of innocence is a fundamental tenet of our justice system,” attorney Leah Graham told Schrotenboer in a statement Friday. “It is extremely unfortunate that this presumption was not given to Deshaun Watson by one of the investigators. Ultimately, however, justice was served by two grand juries in two separate jurisdictions who did what this detective refused to do: fairly and impartially review all the evidence before reaching a conclusion.
Frankly, to play the “presumption of innocence” card in this context is extremely dishonest and deliberately misleading. The presumption of innocence only applies after a suspect has been formally charged with a crime. If every policeman walked around presuming the innocence of every potential accused, NO ONE WOULD EVER BE CHARGED.
The police identify the people they believe to be guilty in fact. Prosecutors, often working with a grand jury, formulate charges, if any, that arise from the available facts. Then, if the suspect becomes a defendant in an imminent criminal trial, the presumption of innocence applies.
Justice, contrary to Graham’s assertion, was not exclusively served by the two grand juries. Justice, in practice, has been deferred to the civil justice system.
Again, the grand jury’s decisions are inconclusive, especially without access to the full presentation made by Stallings. As explained earlier this week, Stallings most likely chose to share information provided to her by Watson’s legal team in hopes that the grand jury would not indict Watson, which would have forced her to try. to prove several crimes beyond a reasonable doubt. dealing with a dream team of very expensive lawyers who, as Rusty Hardin demonstrated by repeatedly contacting Stallings before grand jury presentations, would have made his life miserable in practice for the duration of the criminal cases.