From Alden Gonzalez and Tisha Thompson of ESPN
LOS ANGELES — A temporary restraining order against Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauerhas been dissolved after Los Angeles County 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.
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.”
“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. “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.”
The Pasadena (Calif.) 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.
The fifth extension of Bauer’s administrative leave — which dates back to July 2 — expires at the end of the day on Friday. The expectation is that it will be extended once again, with consent by the MLB Players’ Association. MLB is unlikely to make a ruling on a potential Bauer suspension until the criminal investigation concludes.
Bauer was called to the witness stand Thursday morning, but his attorneys had said throughout the proceedings that he would not specifically answer questions, using his Fifth Amendment rights so as to not incriminate himself against a criminal investigation. 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 genesis of the hearing could ultimately be incriminating. When she asked Bauer directly if he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right, Bauer responded: “Yes, your honor.”
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.
In her declaration, the woman provided graphic details of Bauer allegedly choking her unconscious on multiple occasions, punching her throughout her body, sodomizing her without consent and leaving her with injuries that led to hospitalization. The woman, whom ESPN is not naming because she has reported she is a victim of sexual assault, testified for more than nine hours over the course of three days.
Her attorneys also called the nurse who conducted the Sexual Assault Response Team exam and her best friend as witnesses, while Bauer’s attorneys called on a forensic medical examiner.
Bauer’s team leaned heavily on text messages that the woman left out of her declaration in which she invited rough sex heading into the second encounter and seemed to allude to people in her inner circle about intentions of harming Bauer and getting money from a settlement. But the woman’s attorneys stated throughout that consent and intentions don’t absolve the alleged assault.
In a prolonged closing statement, one of the woman’s attorneys, Lisa Helfend Meyer, said: “Whatever happens, [the woman] has revealed who Trevor Bauer truly is for all the world to see. Hopefully he will get help and not do this in the future under the guise of rough sex.”