Bauer won’t face criminal charges, source says

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Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer will not be criminally charged by the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to ESPN on Tuesday.

The ruling concludes a five-month review of the case, which stems from sexual assault allegations made against Bauer by a San Diego woman who sought a restraining order against him last June.

The District Attorney’s Office reached its conclusion after reviewing evidence from the civil restraining order proceedings and all other physical evidence in concluding that it was unable to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

Bauer, who spent the final three months of the 2021 regular season on administrative leave, still faces potential discipline from Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, who has the autonomy to hand out suspensions under the domestic violence policy that was previously agreed to alongside the MLB Players Association.

In a statement, MLB said its investigation into Bauer “is ongoing, and we will comment further at the appropriate time.” A conclusion of the criminal investigation — more than five months after an L.A. judge dismissed the woman’s request for a restraining order — could allow the league to interview Bauer, which would seemingly expedite the process. But the impending lockout amid ongoing negotiations with the MLBPA over a new collective bargaining agreement could complicate matters.

The Dodgers, who owe Bauer upwards of $47 million in 2022, declined to comment and stated they would not do so until MLB concludes its investigation.

TMZ first reported that the L.A. District Attorney’s Office would not charge Bauer.

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Bauer joined the Dodgers in February 2021 on an inventive short-term contract that would pay him up to $85 million over the course of two seasons, but he didn’t pitch beyond June 28 of its first year.

The following day, a then-27-year-old San Diego woman filed a request for a domestic violence restraining order in which she detailed allegations that Bauer assaulted her over the course of two sexual encounters at his Pasadena, California, home in April and May. In her declaration, the woman — whom ESPN has chosen not to name — essentially alleged that Bauer took rough sex too far, saying that he choked her unconscious on multiple occasions, repeatedly scratched and punched her throughout her body, sodomized her without consent and left her with injuries that prompted a trip to the emergency room.

Bauer’s attorneys, Jon Fetterolf and Rachel Luba, denied the accusations, calling them “fraudulent” and “baseless” in an initial statement.

MLB placed Bauer on paid administrative leave on July 2, allowing time for criminal and internal investigations to play out, and continually extended his leave through the end of the postseason. Five days later, the Dodgers cancelled Bauer’s scheduled bobblehead night and removed his merchandise from its stores, stating that the team “did not feel it was appropriate while investigations continue.”

At the conclusion of a four-day hearing on Aug. 19, L.A. Superior Court Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman dissolved the temporary restraining order, ruling that Bauer did not pose a continual threat to the woman and that her injuries were “not the result of anything she verbally objected to before or during the encounter,” pointing to texts from the woman in which she asked to be choked out. 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.”

The Pasadena Police Department concluded its investigation of Bauer on Aug. 27, sending the case to the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office, which spent the next five months reviewing the findings. MLB’s investigation thusly stalled while awaiting resolution of the criminal element and finding itself in the midst of a lockout.

Source: ESPN MLB

    

Author: Ellen Garcia