Trevor Bauer cannot access cellphone records of accuser, judge rules
The decision could accelerate the process for Major League Baseball to determine whether Bauer should be suspended for violating its sexual assault policy, 10 months after the accusation. The league has kept Bauer on paid leave since then, with the consent of the players’ union, as legal matters have played out and Bauer has maintained he did nothing wrong.
The woman’s request for a restraining order was denied by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman, and the Los Angeles County district attorney subsequently declined to charge Bauer with a crime. In court filings, Bauer’s attorneys said they believed the cellphone records could show how the woman implemented “a plan to seek rough sex so she could later seek to profit.”
In his defamation suit, Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer alleges the Athletic and former writer Molly Knight engaged in “a campaign to maliciously target and harass” him.
On Monday, Gould-Saltman ruled that Bauer’s attorneys had not filed the proper motion in time for her to consider Bauer’s request.
Even had they done so, Gould-Saltman indicated she would have been skeptical of the argument that the records would have helped Bauer’s attorneys show that the woman’s attorneys misused the restraining order process and thus should pay Bauer’s costs to defend himself.
“It appears the materials being sought are not germane to the very limited issue that would come before the court on attorneys’ fees,” Gould-Saltman said.
Gould-Saltman, without comment, denied the woman’s request that Bauer be ordered to pay at least $10,000 to cover her costs in getting the court to quash the subpoena sought by Bauer.
Neither Bauer nor his accuser was in court for the hearing. Bauer’s attorneys declined to comment after the judge’s decision.
The woman’s attorney previously said that Bauer was engaging in a “witch hunt” and “harassing and abusive conduct” by pursuing the records months after the restraining order case had been decided, and that his attorneys had served a subpoena on Pasadena police for the records without court permission. The Pasadena Police Department obtained the phone during its investigation.
Bauer’s attorneys previously alleged the records could support their suspicion that the woman’s attorneys could have been “misusing a proceeding designed to protect real victims of domestic violence to gain publicity” and Bauer thus should be reimbursed for his legal fees. The woman’s attorneys had asked the court to order Bauer to pay her legal fees in dealing with that they called an “unauthorized subpoena.”
Bauer is expected to meet with MLB investigators and share his version of events, and he could have cited information from the records to support his contention that he should not be suspended. Under the league’s sexual assault and domestic violence policy, a player can be suspended even if he is not charged with a crime.
A court filing says Trevor Bauer is engaging in a “witch hunt” against his accuser by pursuing an “unauthorized subpoena” for her phone records.
For instance, the judge in the restraining order hearing ruled that “the only evidence of anything which happened while [the woman] was unconscious was having been hit on the butt,” despite her allegations of other injuries sustained while unconscious.
Although the district attorney said he could not prove any charges beyond a reasonable doubt, Commissioner Rob Manfred would not need to meet that standard and would evaluate Bauer’s conduct against a league policy that defines a nonconsensual sexual act in part as “when a person uses force … or when the victim is … unconscious or legally incapable of consent.”
After the district attorney declined to file charges, Bauer said he had engaged in rough but consensual sex.
Trevor Bauer won’t face criminal charges over sexual assault accusations. The Dodgers must leave no doubt he’s not welcome to return anyway.
“I never assaulted her in any way at any time,” Bauer said.
Manfred also has the authority to let the Dodgers determine any discipline for Bauer.
Bauer is on leave through April 16, although that date can be extended. It is unknown what information the league might have obtained from its meetings with an Ohio woman who made similar allegations against Bauer, as reported by the Washington Post, and agreed to cooperate with MLB investigators.
Bauer is in the second year of a three-year, $102-million contract with the Dodgers. Although he did not pitch in the second half of last season and will not open this season on the roster, he has not lost any of his salary because players are paid while on administrative leave. Players are not paid during a suspension.
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