Los Angeles Dodgers star pitcher Trevor Bauer has been cleared — at least for now — regarding an attempted permanent restraining order brought by a woman who has accused him of sexual assault over the course of two sexual encounters.
On Thursday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman ruled against the woman’s request to make permanent what had been an active temporary restraining order. Bauer is still facing a sexual assault investigation by both the Pasadena Police Department and Major League Baseball — and he remains on leave, unable to pitch for the Dodgers — but this is a court decision coming down in his favor.
In her ruling, Gould-Saltman acknowledged that photos of the injuries the woman claims Bauer inflicted upon her during two sexual encounters were “terrible,” but the judge noted the fact that the woman apparently did not object to the activities, either during the encounter or before, in a series of text messages purportedly sent between her and Bauer. In one particularly damning text message prior to their encounter, the woman asked Bauer to “choke out” and “gimme all the pain.”
Bauer was briefly called to the witness stand on Thursday morning, but his attorneys had previously indicated he would plead the fifth if questioned, and he did just that when the judge asked whether he would. By winning the restraining order decision, the pitcher also avoids having to take a 52-week battery rehabilitation program, which was recommended by the accuser’s attorney.
In her decision, Gould-Saltman ruled (below):
“The injuries as shown in the photographs are terrible. If she set limits and exceeded them, this case would’ve been clear. But she set limits without considering all the consequences, and respondent did not exceed limits that the petitioner set. … When a woman says ‘no,’ she should be believed. So what about when she says ‘yes’?”
And with that, the restraining order was dissolved.
The judge further noted that since neither the woman nor Bauer planned to ever see each other again — and the woman allegedly lives in San Diego, about a hundred miles away from Bauer’s LA home — it was apparently best to just move on from the order at hand.
One of Bauer’s attorneys, Shawn Holley, spoke to the media outside the courthouse on Thursday after the decision was reached:
“We are grateful to the Los Angeles Superior Court for denying the request for a permanent restraining order and dissolving the temporary restraining order against Mr. Bauer today. We have expected this outcome since the petition was filed in June. But we appreciate the court reviewing all the relevant information and testimony to make this decision.”
And Lisa Helfend Meyer, one of the attorneys representing the woman accusing Bauer, released her own statement on the decision to ESPN (below):
“While our client is disappointed about the judge’s ruling, she is hopeful that Mr. Bauer will voluntarily seek the help he needs to make sure that no other woman in a dating relationship with him suffers the same traumatic fate that she did. That is why she was willing to come forward and endure the victim blaming from Mr. Bauer that she knew would inevitably result. Keeping not only herself but also other women safe from the hands of this troubled man has always been a priority — and will continue to be so.”
As we noted, while Thursday marks a win for Bauer, this ordeal is far from over.
The Pasadena PD has been investigating sexual assault allegations against the pitcher for three months now, and has yet to announce charges or arrests. MLB has been conducting its own internal investigation for nearly two full months, as well.
One other notable thing involving this case did happen on Thursday afternoon: MLB extended Bauer’s administrative leave, which dates back to July 2, for a sixth time. In agreement with the MLB Players Association, the league announced on Thursday that Bauer’s leave from the Dodgers will last another eight days, through August 27, at which point they could well decide to extend it for what would be a seventh time while the investigations continue. (Per ESPN, the league is not expected to announce any potential suspension against the pitcher until the legal process plays out, hence the repeated extensions of administrative leave to buy time.)
Ultimately, while discouraged by Thursday’s ruling, accuser’s attorney Helfend Meyer is optimistic that there’s still a silver lining in all of this:
“Whatever happens, has revealed who Trevor Bauer truly is for all the world to see. Hopefully he will get help and not do this in the future under the guise of rough sex.”
We’ll continue to update you as the investigation of this incident moves forward…
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