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Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer won’t face charges over woman’s assault claims, prosecutor says

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer was placed on administrative leave after a woman accused him of assault. Bauer denied her claims. (Jae C. Hong/AP)
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LOS ANGELES — Trevor Bauer, the star pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers who was placed on paid leave by Major League Baseball in July after a woman accused him of choking her unconscious and repeatedly punching her during sex, will not face criminal charges, the office of Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Tuesday.

“After a thorough review of all the available evidence ... the People are unable to prove the relevant charges beyond a reasonable doubt,” reads a document released by prosecutors, who declined to prosecute Bauer for assault, sodomy or causing corporal injury in an act of domestic violence. The document provided no further information on prosecutors’ decision-making, and a spokesman for the office said there were no plans for a news conference or other statements.

In a video statement he posted to YouTube on Tuesday titled “The Truth,” Bauer said the criminal investigation was “extremely thorough” and derided the media for having “tried to convict me in the court of public opinion without having or choosing to report anywhere close to all of the facts.”

In the video, Bauer acknowledged having rough sex with his accuser but denied other allegations that she made against him, including that he punched her in the face or vagina, scratched her or sodomized her without her consent.

“In evaluating my life over recent months, it’s clear I’ve made some poor choices, particularly in regards to the people that I’ve chosen to associate with,” Bauer said. “But I am not the person that this woman, her lawyers and certain members of the media have painted me to be.”

Fred Thiagarajah, one of the woman’s attorneys, acknowledged that prosecutors had a “daunting task” because Bauer’s accuser had already been denied a restraining order against the pitcher in a civil hearing. But Thiagarajah said the decision to not charge Bauer was “not a declaration of innocence; it’s a declaration of ‘I don’t have enough evidence to prove this beyond a reasonable doubt.’ And there’s no doubt that Mr. Bauer just brutalized [the woman].”

In response to Bauer’s specific denials of punching, scratching or sodomizing the woman, Thiagarajah noted that during the restraining order hearing last summer, the pitcher declined to take the stand, exercising his right against self-incrimination.

“It’s easy to deny these things occurred when you’re not going to have a chance to be cross-examined about it,” Thiagarajah said. “The evidence is overwhelming that these things occurred. ... That was established to 100 percent certainty. The issue was whether or not she consented to the abuse.”

The Post does not name alleged victims of domestic violence unless they ask to be identified.

The decision by prosecutors, who were sent the case by police in August, sets up potential legal fights between Bauer and MLB and the Dodgers over the future of his career.

The Dodgers paid Bauer the highest single-year salary in major league history — roughly $38 million — last season despite him missing half of it, and he is still under contract for two more years. MLB officials have been awaiting a legal resolution to Bauer’s case before deciding on what, if any, suspension they will levy.

MLB and the Dodgers declined to comment Tuesday. “MLB’s investigation is ongoing, and we will comment further at the appropriate time,” a spokesperson for MLB said.

Los Angeles authorities declining to prosecute Bauer does not preclude MLB from punishing him under its domestic violence policy. After Bauer’s accuser requested a restraining order against him in Los Angeles court, alleging in detail an assault during sex that left her hospitalized, The Washington Post reported that Bauer was also subject to a temporary restraining order in Ohio in 2020, when he won the Cy Young Award as the National League’s best pitcher.

Allegations made by the Ohio woman’s attorney, that Bauer had choked and punched her without consent during sex, mirrored those made in Los Angeles. The Post also obtained text messages in which Bauer appeared to threaten the Ohio woman, including one reading: “I don’t feel like spending time in jail for killing someone. And that’s what would happen if I saw you again.”

The Ohio woman voluntarily dismissed the restraining order. Bauer’s lawyers recently questioned the validity of the text messages and called the allegations of physical abuse “categorically false.”

In August, following a lengthy hearing over the allegations made by the Los Angeles woman, Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman denied her a restraining order against Bauer, ruling that the woman had encouraged rougher sex. The judge said it is accepted that a woman should be believed when she says “no” during a sexual encounter, “so what about when she says yes?” Gould-Saltman also said the accuser had been “materially misleading” in a court filing.

The report released by the DA’s office Tuesday stated the evidence that prosecutors reviewed included “the civil restraining order proceedings, witness statements and the physical evidence.”