Aug 18, 2021
Tisha Thompson and Alden Gonzalez
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer is expected to take the stand in L.A. County Superior Court on Thursday morning, the fourth and final day of a hearing that will determine if a temporary domestic violence restraining order against him will become permanent, which in California can last up to five years.
Bauer’s attorneys told the judge presiding over the case that he will testify but will state only his name and that he is a Major League Baseball player. His attorneys said they have instructed him to invoke his Fifth Amendment right if asked any additional questions.
The Pasadena (California) Police Department is conducting an ongoing criminal investigation into allegations of domestic violence and sexual assault stemming from two sexual encounters that took place between Bauer and a 27-year-old woman on April 21 and May 16. Under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, no person “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness” against themselves.
Bauer’s attorneys have contended that the encounters were “wholly consensual,” in part because the woman texted Bauer “gimme all the pain” and indicated she wanted to be choked out before she returned to Bauer’s house in May. But in her testimony on Wednesday, the woman said: “To me, text messages do not mean consent. I did not consent to hurting all over my body and being put in the hospital and having things done to me when I was unconscious. That is not consensual.”
The woman, whom ESPN is not naming because she says she is a victim of sexual assault, spent more than nine hours over three days testifying about what happened during the encounters and the events that surrounded them. In her testimony, she described how she says Bauer strangled her unconscious three times with her own hair and punched her in the face, buttocks and genitals so severely during their second sexual encounter that she went to the emergency room for medical care. She told the judge on Wednesday that she didn’t want to go public with her allegations, knowing she would be what she described as “slut-shamed,” but added that “it was worth it to me to get protection from Trevor Bauer.”
Bauer is currently the highest-paid player in MLB this year, earning nearly $40 million, and he won the 2020 National League Cy Young Award while pitching for the Cincinnati Reds.
His legal team spent Wednesday morning finishing its cross-examination of the woman, questioning why she deleted messages his attorneys characterized as “critically important” to the hearing and noting that she lied to two friends about when and where the second sexual encounter with Bauer took place.
The woman testified that one of the friends is her Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) sponsor who had not approved of the relationship with Bauer and had told her not to go to his house in Pasadena, where the encounters took place. As a result, the woman said, she initially told her sponsor that the second sexual encounter had taken place in her apartment in San Diego.
The woman said the other friend was her boss and best friend and that she lied about the timing of the second encounter because she had called in sick.
Bauer’s lawyer, Shawn Holley, asked the woman if she had told Bauer she “substituted rough sex for alcohol,” to which the woman said, “I don’t recall.” Holley then asked if she told Bauer “pain is your escape and your high after sobriety.” The woman said, “No, I did not say that.”
Holley also focused much of her cross-examination on a message exchange that began after the woman sent her sponsor a screenshot of a message she’d received from Bauer on May 8, when Bauer messaged the woman, “Thought about you tonight” and “Figured I’d check in and see how you’re doin.”
The woman then texted her sponsor, “Give me 50 million dollars and don’t slap my cl– and id be great,” according to documents entered into evidence by Bauer’s legal team.
Nearly two weeks after she went to the hospital and gave a statement to police about their second, more violent encounter, the woman texted her sponsor about her frustration with the criminal investigation. Her sponsor then texted: “pretty soon I’ll be like HEY RICH B—-.”
The woman responded, “hopping in the god damn RANGE ROVER,” to which the sponsor replied, “You can make it rain daily.”
Five days later, when the woman next asked if she should post a selfie on social media with the caption, “STRONG GIRL SUMMER,” her sponsor texted, “DON’T POST YOURE SUPPOSED TO BE STRUGGLING MENTALLY NOT POSTING” and that it would be “terrible for your case” because she should not present herself as “a happy summer beach babe posting on IG.”
Then, several texts later, the sponsor told the woman, “SECURE THE BAG.”
Holley emphasized that the woman did not include these text messages and others in the woman’s initial declaration to the judge when she asked for the temporary restraining order in June.
The woman added she did not think the messages were relevant to why she needed protection, explaining she had never previously filed for a restraining order.
The woman’s best friend later testified that the woman sounded “very shaky, very scared,” after she left Bauer’s house and called her following the second encounter.
Bauer’s legal team called Dr. Jennifer Hammers, a former deputy medical examiner for New York City, to testify as a medical expert. She told the court she was a doctor of osteopathic medicine, had conducted more than 4,000 forensic autopsies and expected to be paid about $4,000 by Bauer’s legal team for her review and testimony.
Hammers testified that, in her opinion, the woman’s testimony in court about what happened during the second sexual encounter was not consistent with the injuries detailed within subpoenaed medical records.
The woman didn’t have any fractures or internal bleeding, Hammers said. She did have bruising, dark “raccoon eyes” that can be a sign of strangulation and a bruise “high up in the pubic region above the genitalia,” as well as “bleeding in the labia” that Hammers said was “caused from the bleeding higher up shifting down.”
“Based on testimony, there were two possible ways to have trauma in that area,” Hammers testified. “One is impact from punching.”
The woman, her best friend and the forensic nurse who conducted the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) exam have previously testified that the woman had bruising near her vagina. During her testimony on Tuesday, the nurse, who had been practicing in the field for four decades, said she had never seen bruising around the vagina in that fashion, calling it “alarming.”
But Hammers stated that based on the photos from the SART exam, she did not find the bruising to be consistent with what the woman described in her testimony. Instead, Hammers said, “rough sex” could have caused the injuries. “Two people who are thin, healthy, those impacts can cause blunt injuries in that area.”
On cross-examination, the woman’s lawyer, Marc Garelick, asked if it is possible the bruising on the woman’s face and genitalia came from punches.
Hammers said, “It’s possible, but in my opinion unlikely.”