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Trevor Bauer sues California accuser and lawyer as MLB discipline looms

The Dodgers' Trevor Bauer remains on paid administrative leave. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
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Trevor Bauer filed suit Monday against the woman who sought a restraining order against him last summer, claiming her court action was part of a scheme to destroy the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher’s career and “extract millions of dollars” from him.

It was the latest legal salvo by Bauer, who has been on Major League Baseball-imposed paid administrative leave since shortly after the California woman alleged in a court petition that he choked her unconscious and assaulted her during sex. MLB is readying a decision on potential discipline that could come as early as this week.

Bauer previously filed suit against Deadspin and the Athletic, media outlets he accused of being biased in their coverage.

The latest lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by attorneys including Bauer’s agent Jon Fetterolf, also names as a defendant Fred Thiagarajah, one of the California woman’s attorneys.

From August: Dodgers star Trevor Bauer, on leave amid assault probe, was subject of previous protection order

The suit accuses Thiagarajah of spreading his client’s “false and misleading narrative” through comments he made to The Washington Post in February, after the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office announced it would not charge Bauer on the assault allegations.

Thiagarajah said then that the prosecutorial decision 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 that article, Thiagarajah also took issue with Bauer’s denial in a YouTube video that he had punched, scratched or sodomized the woman. The lawyer noted that Bauer had refused to take the witness stand to not incriminate himself during a restraining order hearing and claimed those allegations were “established to 100 percent certainty. The issue was whether or not she consented to the abuse.”

Reached Monday night, Thiagarajah declined to comment, saying he had not been served with or had a chance to read the civil complaint. Another lawyer for the woman, Bryan Freedman, also declined to comment.

Bauer’s lawsuit alleges that the woman’s restraining order was part of her plan to destroy “Mr. Bauer’s reputation and baseball career, garner attention for herself” and extract a large financial settlement. The suit claims that after an initial sexual encounter with Bauer, during which she alleged that he choked her unconscious, the woman sought to have a “rougher sexual experience” during their second meeting to “lay the groundwork for a financial settlement.”

The Post does not name accusers in domestic violence cases unless they ask to be identified.

In referencing her desire for a financial payout, the legal complaint cites a message that the woman allegedly sent her friend before requesting the restraining order: “They think hes gonna try to settle with me offer me major cash then make me sign an nda.”

Such text messages were central to the restraining order hearing in August. The woman claimed they were “immature” and “sarcastic” jokes. The suit does not make reference to any actual settlement demands made by the woman or her attorneys.

A judge denied the woman’s request for a restraining order and said at least one part of her filing was “materially misleading.”

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The lawsuits against Deadspin and the Athletic centered on those outlets reporting that there were signs that the woman was hospitalized with a skull fracture. Bauer’s lawyers noted in those claims that medical records attached to the restraining order petition reported her skull had “no acute fracture.”

Defamation lawsuits have been increasingly used as a legal tactic by men accused of sexual abuse or domestic violence. Deadspin attorney Lynn Oberlander said Bauer’s “baseless lawsuits against Deadspin and other media organizations are clearly meant to intimidate journalists from reporting about his actions.”

MLB, in agreement with the players union, has repeatedly extended Bauer’s administrative leave while investigating allegations against him. The most recent extension of the leave expires Friday.

The Post reported in August that the year before the California woman sought her restraining order, a woman in Ohio sought a temporary order of protection against him. That woman made similar allegations of Bauer choking and punching her during sex and also allegedly texting her such threats as: “I don’t feel like spending time in jail for killing someone. And that’s what would happen if I saw you again.”

Bauer denied the Ohio woman’s claims of physical abuse and questioned the veracity of the menacing text messages. In that case, Fetterolf also accused the Ohio woman of leveraging the allegations to seek a financial settlement.