A judge has denied a request for a five-year restraining order against Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer by a woman who said he choked her into unconsciousness and punched her repeatedly during two sexual encounters.
The ruling in Bauer's favor marks a legal victory for the Cy Young Award winner signed this season by the World Series champions. Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman said that according to the 27-year-old San Diego woman's testimony, Bauer followed her verbal boundaries when she set them, and he couldn't know the boundaries she didn't express to him.
Police in Pasadena and Major League Baseball are still looking into the allegations.
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Bauer answered no questions during the four-day hearing. His attorney, Shawn Holley, had told a judge the only questions he will answer are “his name and what he does for a living,” and cited a pending criminal investigation by police in Pasadena..
The legal team seeking the order for a woman who says Bauer choked her into unconsciousness and punched her in two sexual encounters said that Bauer was the last remaining witness they intended to call at the hearing.
Holley asked Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman to allow Bauer to avoid taking the stand entirely, as defendants in criminal cases do.
Normally in civil matters, a witness would invoke the Fifth Amendment on a question-by-question basis.
Gould-Saltman adjourned the hearing Wednesday, saying she would read legal precedents provided by Holley and issue a decision Thursday morning.
Bauer, who fought the order and has said through representatives that everything that happened between him and the woman was consensual, attended all days of the hearing.
Most of the hearing consisted of testimony from the woman herself, along with brief appearances on the stand from the nurse who gave her a sexual assault exam after the second encounter, a doctor called by Bauer's team to analyze those findings, and the woman's best friend.
Major League Baseball put Bauer, 30, on paid administrative leave on July 2, a few days after the woman was given a temporary restraining order until evidence could be heard, as is common in such matters.
In her third day on the witness stand Wednesday, the woman said that the satisfaction she expressed to friends when the case first went public was a reaction to her treatment by the media, not happiness that she was taking down the Dodgers pitcher.
“It felt good to not see me slut-shamed right off the bat,” the woman said under cross-examination from Holley, who read from her text messages sent at the time.
“Media is freaking out. On my side,” one of the woman's texts read. “It’s the best thing I could have hoped for.”
Holley asked, “What does the media freaking out have to do with your safety?”
The woman replied that she had felt Bauer's representatives had shamed her with a statement saying the nights the two spent were wholly consensual, and she was happy to see that the media, and the public on social media, were not attacking her.
Holley asked the woman why she felt she needed protection from Bauer when he had made no contact with her in nearly a month when she filed for the order.
“That was what worried me,” the woman replied, saying Bauer's silence after constantly checking on her in the days following the second incident made her fear he was planning something and may seek her out in San Diego.
“Did you have some reason to believe he was going to come to your house 130 miles away?” Holley asked.
“Yes, I did," she said.
Holley also pointed out lies that the woman acknowledged telling her closest friends in texts about when and where the meetings with Bauer happened.
The woman said that one friend had warned her not to go to Bauer's home in Pasadena, so she told her the first encounter happened in San Diego. Another friend was one of her bosses, the woman said, and she had to lie about the timing of the second Bauer night because she had called in sick.
Holley also asked the woman why she had acknowledged in messages that she was watching Bauer's games despite saying she wanted nothing to do with him.
“You have testified previously that you had to delete all your communications with him," Holley asked, ”but you still wanted to watch him pitch, right?"
“Possibly,” the woman answered.
The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they have been victims of sexual assault.
Bauer agreed to a $102 million, three-year contract to join his hometown Dodgers earlier this year after winning his first Cy Young with the Cincinnati Reds last season.