Criminal investigation against the Dodgers’ Trevor Bauer filed with district attorney
The first step toward potential criminal charges against Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer was initiated Friday when the Pasadena Police Department presented results of its investigation to the L.A. County District Attorney’s office, according to police spokeswoman Lt. Carolyn Gordon.
The district attorney’s office will consider the evidence presented by the police and determine whether charges will be filed against Bauer, who is accused by a woman of assaulting her during sexual encounters at his Pasadena home April 21 and May 16. The police did not recommend specific charges. “That will be determined by the District Attorney’s office,” Gordon said.
Bauer, 30, has been on paid administrative leave from the Dodgers since late June when the woman, 27, made her allegations public by filing for a temporary restraining order. The leave was extended Friday through Sept. 3.
An L.A. Superior Court judge last week denied a request by the woman to extend the restraining order for the maximum five years allowed under California law and also dissolved the temporary order, ruling that Bauer did not pose a threat to the woman.
Major League Baseball is conducting its own investigation, although experts say it is progressing slowly because criminal charges are still pending. Bauer is in the first year of a three-year, $102-million contract that makes him one of the highest-paid pitchers in baseball.
The woman testified for nearly 12 hours at the four-day restraining order hearing Aug. 16-19, saying she initiated contact with Bauer through an Instagram direct message and that what began as a consensual relationship that included agreed-upon rough sex led to sexual acts and battery that were not consensual.
She alleged that Bauer punched her in the face, vagina and buttocks after he had choked her unconscious with her own hair. The act of choking, she testified, was consensual, but the punching was not. Bauer has denied the allegations, and his attorneys have said both encounters were “wholly consensual.”
After four days of emotional testimony, a judge denies a restraining order against Trevor Bauer sought by a woman who accused him of sexual assault.
In her ruling, Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman addressed the consent issue:
“In written exchange, the [woman] said that ‘she wanted all the pain.’ Those were her words. Should [Bauer] have believed her?
“In written communication, the [woman] said she wanted to be choked out. [Bauer] sought clarification as to whether she meant ‘out,’ as in unconscious, and [the woman] replied in the affirmative. Should [Bauer] have believed her?”
“We consider that, in the context of a sexual encounter, when a woman says ‘No,’ she should be believed. So what about when she says, ‘Yes’?”
Legal experts say the district attorney’s office will consider whether the evidence presented by the police is enough to prove Bauer is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Regardless of whether criminal charges are eventually filed, the woman can bring a civil suit against Bauer and seek monetary damages. The burden of proof in a civil case is a preponderance of the evidence, which experts say is defined as greater than 50% that the claim is true.
“[The case] is under review and we will be carefully examining the investigation and making a decision,” said Alex Bastian, an L.A. County district attorney spokesman.
In text messages to friends, the woman expressed frustration about the Pasadena Police Department investigation, which took more than three months to complete.
“The specific detective working with me was very degrading and she slut-shamed me,” the woman testified at the hearing. “And she was one of the most traumatic parts of this whole scenario. And she also lied to me two different times about when Trevor was getting arrested.”
Bauer has not been arrested.
The nearly 500 pages of testimony from the hearing can be introduced by either side as evidence in a criminal or civil trial. Two potentially key pieces of evidence, however, were not introduced last week.
One is the transcript of a phone call from the woman to Bauer that was recorded by Pasadena police detectives. It is unknown whether Bauer incriminated himself on that call. His accuser, however, did testify about the call during questioning from her attorney, Lisa Meyer, and Gould-Saltman.
Meyer: “Did he acknowledge that he did something to you that you alleged in that call?”
Accuser: “Yes. He said, again, that he was sorry. And he asked how we could move forward from it. And he asked me if he could come visit me in San Diego.”
Gould-Saltman: “I’m not hearing that in your answer. Did he say ‘I did — you’re right, I did it.’ Or something that was like, ‘You’re right. I did that.’
Accuser: “He didn’t say those words.”
Gould-Saltman: “Anything like those words?”
Accuser: “I don’t want to say something that’s not on that cold call. So what my answer to that is he just was asking how we could move forward. . . . “
Meyer: “When you asked him what he did to you when you were unconscious, what did he say in response to that?”
Accuser: “He just said that he punched my butt.”
After a request by Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer for a continuance was denied, the hearing began with testimony from a woman who has accused him of sexual assault.
The second piece of evidence not introduced at the hearing is the revelation in the Washington Post that a second woman sought a temporary order of protection in 2020, three years after she alleges he choked and punched her during sex. She said she requested the order because Bauer repeatedly threatened her.
Bauer’s attorneys told the Post that when Bauer attempted to end the “off-again, on-again” three-year relationship, she “proceeded to contact him hundreds of times.” They said the woman’s request for the order of protection was part of an “extortion attempt.”
Prosecutors could use those allegations to bolster the Pasadena alleged assault probe because they can use testimony of prior bad acts that are similar in nature and show a pattern of behavior by the accused.
Times staff writer Richard Winton contributed to this report.
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