The Cleveland Browns got a bit of good news on Monday when it was announced that quarterback Deshaun Watson would only face a six-game suspension as a result of his sexual misconduct allegations. Sue Robinson, a former federal judge who is acting independently of the NFL and the player’s association, made the decision.
The NFL, however, had no plans of having him serve such a small suspension, so they filed their appeal on Wednesday as they look to increase the number of games he will be serving.
According to NFL insider Josina Anderson, Watson’s team will reportedly bring up Ben Roethlisberger’s sexual assault accusation from 2010 where he got his six-game suspension reduced to four games.
Roethlisberger, who is now married with three kids, was accused of sexual assault by two women but neither of the allegations led to criminal charges.
Like Big Ben, Watson also did not face criminal charges after two Texas grand juries elected not to go forward with the charges.
The first allegation of sexual assault made against Roethlisberger was in 2009 when a woman filed a civil lawsuit against him and a Nevada hotel where she had worked. The woman alleged in the suit that she was an employee at Lake Tahoe hotel and casino the previous year when Roethlisberger was a guest during a celebrity golf tournament. She claimed he tricked her into his bedroom in July 2008 by claiming that his TV was broken. He then allegedly blocked the door as she tried to leave, grabbed her, and tried to kiss her.
Despite the woman telling Roethlisberger “please don’t,” he pushed her onto the bed and raped her, the suit stated.
The second accusation came just a year later when a 20-year-old college student claimed he raped her in a bathroom stall of a nightclub in Georgia in 2010. The case was later dropped as authorities said there was insufficient evidence.
After this accusation, Roethlisberger was hit with a six-game suspension from the NFL. Yet he was allowed back to play after four games for “good behavior.”