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As Trevor Bauer fights for his profession, his accusers battle again


LOS ANGELES — From almost the second Trevor Bauer, the polarizing star pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, was accused of sexual assault final yr, his workforce and far of the baseball world rapidly moved on.

However for the three girls who’ve publicly accused him of abuse, the previous 18 months have been spent asserting, repeating and litigating their allegations.

One accuser was interrogated by detectives who scoured her telephone for proof of economic motives. When prosecutors then declined to cost Bauer, he posted a video to social media by which he known as the girl a liar and denied putting her throughout intercourse although he had acknowledged hitting her on a telephone name recorded by detectives. Bauer’s investigator known as one other girl’s former acquaintances, asking about her courting and intercourse life, the girl stated. And all three had been accused of extortion and confronted social media retaliation by Bauer.

The baseball star’s withering counterattack appeared to achieve a crescendo in April of this yr, simply as he confronted a career-threatening reckoning by which these girls would play a pivotal position. Days earlier than Main League Baseball suspended him for a report 324 video games for violating its home violence and sexual assault coverage — a call he would instantly attraction — Bauer sued the girl who could be the chief witness within the ensuing arbitration battle.

Amid such strain, one of many three accusers determined unexpectedly this previous summer season that she now not wished to take part within the arbitration battle, citing “private and household issues,” based on data reviewed by The Washington Put up.

The newest chapter in Bauer’s saga is nearing its finish. Over seven months, an arbitrator, tasked with figuring out whether or not to uphold or scale back Bauer’s two-season suspension, has examined MLB’s case in opposition to the pitcher. That arbitrator’s resolution, anticipated inside weeks, not solely will decide Bauer’s future however will have an effect on the Dodgers’ payroll — and assist decide whether or not accusers might be prepared to cooperate as MLB investigators attempt to root alleged abusers from the sport.

The arbitration listening to has been shrouded in secrecy. However The Put up used beforehand unreported public data, confidential authorized supplies and interviews with folks with firsthand data, together with one of many accusers who testified, to make clear proceedings which have been as in-depth as a trial — with roughly two dozen witnesses, reams of proof and a battalion of employed authorized weapons on both sides. For MLB, these reinforcements embody a former federal prosecutor identified for taking down the chief of a intercourse cult.

A minimum of two of Bauer’s accusers testified through the listening to, data and interviews present. They appeared through Zoom from MLB headquarters, in under-oath and transcribed testimony topic to cross-examination from Bauer’s lead legal professional, Shawn Holley.

By means of subpoenas and public data requests, each side — Bauer and the gamers union on one, MLB and his accusers on the opposite — amassed proof they touted as proof that the opposite is mendacity, data present.

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Amongst these supplies: a recording of a telephone dialog between Bauer and his California accuser, who positioned the decision on the route of police. Through the 28-minute recording, obtained by The Put up, Bauer acknowledged hitting the girl, who was hospitalized afterward, however expressed shock at her accidents and prompt he was following her lead through the encounter. Bauer has publicly denied putting her.

Data reviewed by The Put up present the listening to additionally included exhaustive back-and-forth over a video exhibiting the California girl beside a sleeping Bauer the morning after the alleged assault. Within the Snapchat video, which she filmed, the girl is smiling and doesn’t have seen accidents. Different images she took that morning, together with hours earlier than and shortly afterward, did present accidents to her face.

Bauer’s attorneys argued she “buried” the video throughout a restraining order listening to final yr as a result of it would have exonerated him. The lady, although, denied hiding the existence of the video from anyone, based on arbitration data reviewed by The Put up. And body-camera footage reveals she volunteered the video to police detectives throughout her preliminary interview with them, explaining on the time that her smile within the footage was a part of her “trauma response.” Her lawyer within the restraining order listening to, Lisa Helfend Meyer, didn’t reply to a request for touch upon whether or not the video was turned over to Bauer’s attorneys throughout that continuing.

The video was dissected by each side through the arbitration listening to, based on data reviewed by The Put up, with attorneys debating the that means of her smile and whether or not her accidents weren’t seen due to lighting points or the time it takes for bruises to seem. Holley seized on the video as proof that the California girl concocted her story for monetary acquire, which Bauer additionally claimed in his lawsuit in opposition to her. The lady denied any such plot and filed a counterclaim in opposition to Bauer for sexual battery, and the lawsuit is ongoing.

Data reviewed by The Put up present Bauer’s penchant for authorized retaliation has been a central concern of MLB throughout its investigation and the arbitration listening to.

It’s in opposition to MLB’s home violence coverage to “have interaction in conduct which is aimed toward, or has the impact of, intimidating or tampering with” a witness or alleged sufferer in an investigation. In an settlement between MLB and a possible witness within the listening to, reviewed by The Put up, MLB said that if Bauer had been to file a “frivolous or some other authorized continuing” in opposition to that witness primarily based on their participation within the investigation, MLB would search to have Bauer disciplined for violating the coverage.

Bauer’s representatives didn’t reply to repeated requests for remark. A spokesman for MLB declined to remark, citing the confidentiality of the arbitration proceedings.

The opposite accuser identified to have testified within the Bauer listening to is a girl from Columbus, Ohio, who beforehand alleged in an article in The Put up that he repeatedly choked her unconscious, slapped and anally penetrated her with out her consent over the course of a years-long relationship. The Put up just isn’t figuring out her or Bauer’s different accusers; it’s The Put up’s coverage to not establish alleged victims of sexual assault until they ask to be named.

In a latest interview, the Columbus girl stated she was always reminded of her alleged abuser, whether or not or not it’s by his investigator calling her former acquaintances, seeing followers sporting Bauer jerseys when she attended a minor league sport this summer season or retired MLB pitcher Curt Schilling saying on a podcast that Bauer’s punishment wasn’t deserved as a result of “nothing occurred.”

“Sadly that is now one thing that, for the final yr and a half, I’ve needed to take care of and I’ve had to consider and I’ve needed to relive it,” the girl stated. “I don’t get to overlook the worst factor that occurred to me.”

An ‘overwhelming’ listening to

Bauer was on the high of his sport earlier than the 2021 season, when he signed a three-year deal price $102 million. It was solely months later, in Could 2021, {that a} California girl instructed police that Bauer had choked her unconscious after which repeatedly punched her throughout intercourse, derailing Bauer’s profession.

A choose denied the girl a restraining order, and a police investigation ended with no costs being filed. Bauer sued the girl, claiming she had orchestrated a scheme to extort him. However by then, two different girls had come ahead, detailing to The Put up allegations of comparable abuse. After its personal investigation, MLB suspended Bauer in April for 2 seasons.

MLB’s public announcement of Bauer’s punishment was mild on clarification. MLB solely stated that after a “prolonged investigation,” it was suspending Bauer for violating the Joint Home Violence, Sexual Assault and Baby Abuse Coverage it has with the gamers union.

The coverage precludes “bodily or sexual violence” and defines sexual assault as a “nonconsensual intercourse act” similar to “when the sufferer is asleep, unconscious or legally incapable of consent.” The allegations of all three girls included that Bauer choked them unconscious and was violent towards them throughout intercourse.

Bauer once more declared his innocence and stated he and his authorized workforce “anticipate to prevail” of their attraction. Since then, there have solely been uncommon public glimpses of the arbitration listening to, which started in Could.

In August, Holley, Bauer’s legal professional, disclosed throughout an unrelated court docket continuing that the listening to had 22 witnesses scheduled, featured “substantial documentary proof” and was anticipated to final till October or November. Holley, who was trying to delay the rape trial of one other consumer, actor Danny Masterson, known as her obligations within the Bauer listening to “overwhelming and intensely time-consuming.”

“It’s a trial,” stated Holley, who first gained fame as a part of O.J. Simpson’s authorized workforce and has since represented a lengthy record of celebrities.

The listening to has targeted on the allegations of “the three accusers” who publicly detailed their allegations in opposition to Bauer, based on an MLB subpoena obtained by The Put up. In an interview with The Put up, the girl from Columbus described what she noticed as a last-ditch effort by Bauer to embarrass or intimidate her earlier than she testified. She stated Holley’s non-public investigator contacted former acquaintances with no relation to the case to ask about her courting historical past, together with whether or not she had previous relationships with skilled athletes.

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She shared with The Put up a screenshot of a message she stated was despatched to her by her former supervisor at a bar. “Yo some investigator man known as me asking about you … and like requested if I knew who you dated or had intercourse with with!” the previous boss wrote.

The lady wrote again that it was Bauer’s investigator, including, “I now know why girls don’t come ahead with this s—.”

She nonetheless participated within the listening to. These proceedings had been totally different from earlier high-profile arbitration hearings in that they had been distant, per the obvious desire of the arbitrator employed by MLB and its union, Martin Scheinman.

Scheinman has stated he takes precautions to ensure digital witnesses should not being coached. An identical concern resulted in Bauer’s accusers being put alone in MLB places of work for testimony, which Holley then picked aside throughout cross-examination. The Columbus girl stated the expertise triggered her to interrupt down in tears throughout her testimony. “It’s by no means enjoyable to debate tremendous intimate particulars of your life, not to mention with 20 folks on Zoom screens,” the girl stated. MLB ultimately despatched in a lawyer to take a seat in the identical room as her, she stated.

That lawyer, data and interviews present, was Moira Penza, a specialist in advanced authorized sagas involving alleged sexual assault. Penza is a former federal prosecutor who helped get hold of the conviction of NXIVM cult chief Keith Raniere. She is a companion within the agency of Beth Wilkinson, who not too long ago investigated Washington’s NFL workforce. Wilkinson’s agency, court docket data present, has assisted MLB within the Bauer matter.

Penza joined an MLB effort in opposition to Bauer that has been led by Moira Weinberg, MLB’s senior vice chairman of investigations and herself a former Manhattan prosecutor. Penza declined to remark.

After components of two days, the Columbus girl stated, her testimony was over. “The aid I felt afterwards, it was wonderful,” she stated. “To lastly get my half out — to have performed my half and be performed.”

However one other of Bauer’s accusers determined mid-arbitration that she now not wished to be concerned. That girl, from Cleveland, sought a restraining order in opposition to Bauer in 2020, The Put up beforehand reported, after he allegedly punched and choked her throughout intercourse with out her consent and despatched her menacing messages. She dismissed her petition for the restraining order after Bauer’s attorneys accused her of extortion. Following the article, Bauer launched a whole lot of textual content messages from her that partially uncovered her id. He then reposted the messages with the figuring out data redacted.

Data reviewed by The Put up confirmed the Cleveland girl indicated in June that she wouldn’t take part within the arbitration. By August, she had requested to not be contacted additional by MLB or the gamers union.

An legal professional who represented her, Joseph Darwal, didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Bauer’s most exhaustive battle has been in opposition to his accuser in California. He says she lured him into more and more tough intercourse together with her — together with in textual content messages by which she urged him to offer her “all of the ache” — to “lay the groundwork for a monetary settlement.”

The lady has fought again, denying any such plot and doubling down on efforts to show her allegations true.

Months after the regulation enforcement investigation ended with no costs, their dueling authorized claims pried free new particulars, a few of which contradict Bauer’s public narrative concerning the case and triggered her attorneys to counsel it was mishandled by police.

Bauer stated in his lawsuit that in pursuit of her alleged scheme, the girl “pursued bogus prison” costs in opposition to him and filed a “false police report.” Physique-camera footage reviewed by The Put up, nevertheless, reveals that through the girl’s first interplay with Pasadena police Could 18, 2021 — three days after the alleged assault and after hospital personnel reported her accidents to police — she was not initially prepared to pursue costs.

“Everybody’s telling me to press costs and stuff, nevertheless it’s like, my life adjustments, his life adjustments,” stated the girl, whose eyes and face appeared bruised and scratched within the footage of the police interview. “So I suppose I’m simply, like, confused on what to do.”

The detectives urged her to name Bauer that day of their presence. “We might arrest him primarily based on what you type of instructed us already,” stated Det. Derek Locklin, who defined that with out extra proof, “it’s going to be a he-said, she-said kind factor.”

The lady stated she additionally didn’t really feel able to take that step as a result of she was “fairly shaken up nonetheless.” However she later determined to make the decision, which police recorded that Could 22. Within the name, she confronted Bauer about allegedly punching her within the head and vagina.

Bauer didn’t deny punching her — although he stated he “simply can’t even determine how, like, the consequence was what it was” — and on a few cases appeared to acknowledge it.

“I didn’t really feel like I hit you that tough, you already know?” Bauer stated.

At one other level, the girl requested Bauer, “What number of occasions do you assume you, like, hit my head?”

“I’m unsure,” Bauer stated. “It wasn’t that many.”

Bauer prompt that he was following the girl’s lead in having tough intercourse together with her and that he continuously checked to ensure she was okay.

“You appeared nice, as a result of, like while you had come to … it appeared such as you had been, like, you already know, regular,” Bauer stated.

However the girl, who described going “out and in of consciousness,” pushed again on his declare that the whole lot was consensual. “I don’t keep in mind you ever asking me. … The punching factor, I didn’t need that,” the girl stated.

“Yeah, I imply, I’m very, like, I’m sorry that — I don’t know, like, what to say,” Bauer responded. “… I really feel your ache. I’m, like, in ache, too. And like I by no means wished it to get that to that time, like — I can really feel like we’ll by no means get to that time once more. I promise that. I do know that doesn’t change something.”

“I’m hurting, too,” Bauer added.

Bauer additionally appeared to supply monetary help, saying: “You point out lacking work. … I wish to be sure to’re okay, you already know? And, truthfully, like, if I may help … is there one thing I can do?”

However Pasadena detectives then soured on the case, as proven in body-camera footage of a second go to to the girl’s house in early June 2021. By then, police had, in looking out by means of the girl’s telephone, found messages that Bauer’s attorneys would later seize on as proof of a monetary plot.

In messages to mates earlier than the alleged assault, the girl had boasted of assembly Bauer, saying she had her “hooks in him,” and riffed about prenuptial agreements, Vary Rovers and having Bauer give her $50 million.

The lady protested to detectives that the messages had been simply jokes referring to marrying a rich athlete. “I might by no means purposefully set myself up for one thing like this, like, pondering, ‘Oh, if I get him to beat the s— out of me, you already know, and let him do no matter he desires, then I might do that,’ ” the girl stated.

However the detectives prompt the messages meant Bauer was not being arrested within the close to future — and doubtless by no means could be. “This creates a big cheap doubt to the place … I don’t know the way we might persuade a jury to convict him,” Det. Brian Murphy stated.

“It actually lays the groundwork for wanting like a setup,” Det. Kimberly Jones stated.

Among the many proof the detectives cited: that the girl’s search historical past confirmed she had Googled “set-ups” days earlier than Bauer’s alleged assault.

The lady later emailed the detectives proof that she had been looking out spell that phrase whereas writing a social media submit for her job. However Bauer cited the Google search in his authorized grievance as proof of the girl’s plot in opposition to him.

The detectives additionally requested the girl whether or not her encounter with Bauer was intercourse work, which she denied.

The lady’s legal professional, Fred Thiagarajah, emailed Jones after listening to concerning the interview, complaining that his consumer “felt extra like a suspect than a sufferer.” That July, Thiagarajah stated in an electronic mail to the detective that they weren’t calling again different alleged victims.

“These are two tangible leads involving prior sufferer(s) that may both corroborate or impeach [my client’s] statements,” Thiagarajah wrote, “and but for some motive, no follow-up is being performed.”

The Pasadena Police Division didn’t reply to a request for remark.

The division introduced its findings from the investigation to the Los Angeles District Legal professional’s Workplace the next month. Prosecutors introduced in February that they’d not pursue a case in opposition to Bauer, saying that following “an intensive evaluate of all of the obtainable proof,” they “had been unable to show the related costs past an inexpensive doubt.”

Following that announcement, Bauer for the primary time explicitly denied hitting the girl in a YouTube video titled “The Reality.”

“I by no means punched this girl within the face. I by no means punched her within the vagina,” Bauer stated. “… And whereas we did have consensual tough intercourse, the disturbing acts and conduct she described merely didn’t happen.”

The arbitrator’s remaining resolution is unlikely to be the tip of the authorized saga involving Bauer. If the ruling goes in opposition to him, he might flip to the courts to try to overturn the choice.

A choose additionally not too long ago allowed the California girl to proceed pursuing her counterclaim in opposition to Bauer, establishing their dueling civil claims to move towards a trial — this one in public.

Her present legal professional, Bryan Freedman, declined to make her obtainable for an interview. However in social media posts, she described her battle with Bauer — and her journeys to testify within the arbitration listening to — as transformative.

She wrote in a single submit: “To my summer season stints in NYC — you introduced out a hearth in me that I didn’t know existed.”



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