Cleveland Rape Crisis Center weighs in on ‘increased punishment’ for Watson

The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center helps victims of rape and abuse get the services they need.
The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center helps victims of rape and abuse get the services they need.((Source: Cleveland Rape Crisis Center))
Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 1:19 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center is standing in solidarity with women who have accused Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct.

On Thursday, the NFL issued a 11-game suspension and $5 million fine to the Cleveland Browns quarterback.

Watson, who maintains his innocence, has settled 23 of 24 lawsuits filed by massage therapists who accused him of sexual misconduct.

He initially received a six-game suspension, which the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center called disappointing.

In a statement released Thursday, the center said Watson’s “increased punishment is a step towards validating [the women’s] experiences.”

Two grand juries in Texas have declined to indict the 26-year-old on criminal charges.

Here is the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center’s full statement:

Cleveland Rape Crisis Center stands with those who have been hurt by Deshaun Watson.
While traditional avenues of criminal justice may have failed his accusers, today’s NFL and NFLPA settlement of increased punishment is a step towards validating their experiences. Healing comes to survivors in many forms.
Cleveland Rape Crisis Center believes and supports survivors. Continued headlines are triggering for many. Our staff is available 24/7/365 online or by calling/texting (216) 619-6192.”