A temporary restraining order against Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer has been dissolved after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman ruled against a woman’s request for a permanent restraining order Thursday.
Gould-Saltman determined that Bauer did not pose a threat to the 27-year-old woman, who accused him of sexual assault over the course of two sexual encounters, and that her injuries were not the result of anything she verbally objected to before or during the encounter.
The judge said the “injuries as shown in the photographs are terrible” but added, “If she set limits and he 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.”
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“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,” Shawn Holley, one of Bauer’s attorneys, said in a statement outside the courthouse while standing with Bauer and attorney Jon Fetterolf. “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.”
Lisa Helfend Meyer, one of the attorneys representing the woman, said in a statement to ESPN: “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.”
The Pasadena (California) Police Department has been investigating the allegations against Bauer for more than three months and has yet to make any charges or arrests. Major League Baseball has been conducting its investigation for about seven weeks.
Bauer’s administrative leave, which dates back to July 2, was extended for a sixth time on Thursday afternoon with consent by the MLB Players Association. Bauer’s leave will run another eight days, this time through Aug. 27. MLB’s decision is not dependent on a criminal conviction, but the league is not expected to determine the length of a potential suspension until the legal process plays out.
Bauer was called to the witness stand Thursday morning, but his attorneys had previously told the judge that he would not answer questions beyond his name and profession as a major league player, invoking his Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate himself.
The woman’s attorneys pleaded with the judge to allow for cross-examination, citing questions that were pertinent to the hearing but not necessarily incriminating. But Gould-Saltman ruled that any questions specific to the hearing could ultimately be incriminating. When she asked Bauer directly whether he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right, Bauer responded: “Yes, your honor.”
They are the only three words Bauer has said publicly all week.
Thursday marked the conclusion of a four-day hearing to determine whether the temporary restraining order that was obtained against Bauer should be dismissed or made permanent, which in California can last up to five years. The woman’s attorneys asked for a five-year protective order and that Bauer enter a 52-week battery program.
In making her decision, the judge noted that the woman invited rough sex by asking Bauer to choke her out and texting him to “gimme all the pain” leading up to the second encounter.
“When a woman says ‘no,’ she should be believed,” Gould-Saltman said. “So what about when she says ‘yes’?”
Gould-Saltman noted that Bauer didn’t pursue or threaten the woman following the second sexual encounter on May 16, saying that there was “no factual basis” to support her fears of Bauer after she went to an emergency room or after obtaining a protective order. Gould-Saltman added that there was “no supportable evidence” that he would harm her in the future.
The woman gave emotional testimony on Monday, describing how her “soul left my body” while Bauer punched her closed-fisted in the face, body and near her vagina after being choked unconscious on May 16. She described being in such shock that she couldn’t bring herself to tell Bauer to stop. The woman testified for more than nine hours over the course of three days.
“The evidence has shown [the woman] was sexually and physically assaulted by Trevor Bauer — that this was not rough sex between two consenting adults,” Helfend Meyer told the judge on Thursday. “A person in her right mind would never have consented to what Trevor had done to her.”
Helfend Meyer called Bauer “a monster” two separate times during her closing argument. She said the woman described herself as someone who puts on a false bravado but is “young” and “might not be the most mature and stable person in the world.”
Bauer’s team leaned heavily on messages the woman made to friends, many of which were left out of the woman’s initial declaration, specifically when she wrote that she had her “hooks in” Bauer and can “get in his head.” Holley also pointed to a substantive gap in text messages from May 18 to 28 between the woman and her best friend as well as her Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor, and said that the woman portrayed herself in messages to Bauer to be “a pro.”
At one point in her closing argument, Holley said: “I’m sure it was painful and unpleasant for her. And it is unfortunate. But she asked for these things.”
The woman’s legal team had called the nurse who conducted the SART exam and the woman’s best friend to testify, while Bauer’s team called on a forensic medical examiner. The nurse, who testified on Tuesday, said she had never seen bruising around the vagina like what the woman exhibited in the early morning of May 18, calling it “alarming.” But the medical examiner stated that the woman’s injuries, which she analyzed through digital photographs, were not consistent with the woman’s description of what happened during the second encounter.
Holley called the woman’s request for a temporary restraining order, which Bauer’s legal team continually argued did not include critical information, an “abuse of process” and an “abuse of the court’s time” during her closing argument. Her attorney noted that the specificity of this hearing — which, at its core, was to determine whether a restraining order was required on the grounds that a “dating relationship” existed and a “threat of future harm” was present — doesn’t disavow a larger truth.
“Whatever happens, [the woman] has revealed who Trevor Bauer truly is for all the world to see,” Helfend Meyer said. “Hopefully he will get help and not do this in the future under the guise of rough sex.”
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