LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles prosecutors on Tuesday decided not to charge Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer for allegedly beating and sexually abusing a San Diego woman he met through social media.
Prosecutors were unable to prove the San Diego woman’s accusations beyond a reasonable doubt, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Bauer, 31, was placed on paid leave on July 2 under the players’ union and Major League Baseball’s joint domestic violence and sexual assault policy after the woman said he choked her into unconsciousness, punched her repeatedly and had anal sex with her without her consent during two sexual encounters. MLB and the union eventually agreed to extend his administrative leave through the end of the postseason.
MLB and the Pasadena Police Department both launched investigations. Police turned over the results of their investigation to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office in August.
Bauer has said through representatives that everything that happened between the two was “wholly consensual” in the nights they spent together in April and May at his Pasadena home.
In a seven-minute video posted Tuesday to YouTube, the pitcher said the woman repeatedly consented to rough sex during those encounters.
“This is something that she brought up, we discussed together, and both agreed to engage in,” Bauer said . “We established rules and boundaries and I followed them.”
The district attorney’s office looked into felony assault and sodomy charges on an unconscious person from the incident in April, and a domestic violence charge from the encounter in May, according to a copy of the case’s charge evaluation worksheet released Tuesday.
After reviewing physical evidence, witness statements and court proceedings when the woman sought a restraining order, prosecutors determined there was insufficient evidence to win a conviction.
Regardless of what happens in the legal case, Bauer could face a potential suspension by MLB of any length it chooses.
“MLB’s investigation is ongoing, and we will comment further at the appropriate time,” the league said in a statement Tuesday.
The Dodgers said they would not comment until the league’s probe concludes.
The allegations against Bauer first surfaced publicly during the summer when the woman sought a protection order against the new Dodgers star. The woman said in court documents seeking the order that she and Bauer met on Instagram when she tagged him in a photo while he pitched during a game against the San Diego Padres in April.
She later visited his home and had sexual encounters that began as consensual but grew violent without her consent, the documents said. The second incident — in which she alleges Bauer repeatedly punched her — left her with two black eyes, a bloodied swollen lip, significant bruising and scratching to one side of her face, according to the documents. She included photographs showing the injuries.
The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they have been victims of sexual assault.
The 27-year-old woman also testified extensively about the encounters during a four-day hearing but her request for a restraining order was denied by Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman of Los Angeles Superior Court. The judge found that Bauer honored the woman’s boundaries when the woman set them, and could not have known about those he violated because she didn’t express them clearly.
The judge noted that in the woman’s communications with Bauer, the woman “was not ambiguous about wanting rough sex in the parties’ first encounter, and wanting rougher sex in the second encounter.”
“We consider in a sexual encounter that when a woman says no she should be believed,” Gould-Saltman said, “so what should we do when she says yes?”
Bauer didn’t testify at the civil hearing. In Tuesday’s video, titled “The Truth,” he decried the media’s portrayal of him in the “court of public opinion” without corroboration.
“Allegations like this are extremely serious, and they should be thoroughly investigated, as has happened in this matter,” he said.
Bauer, the 2020 National League Cy Young Award winner, joined his hometown Dodgers earlier this year on a $102 million, three-year contract. He had a record of 8-2 and a 2.59 ERA in 17 appearances before being placed on leave.
It’s possible Bauer would contest any discipline handed down by MLB in an attempt to salvage his career and salary.
Of the 13 players suspended by MLB under the domestic violence and sexual assault policy, 10 were not publicly charged. None of them appealed.
Bauer could be the one who does.
He has a reputation for disparaging people on social media, he has complained publicly about MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, and he has gone to arbitration when he didn’t like a previous team’s salary offers. His representatives attacked the credibility of the San Diego woman who accused him of sexual assault.
Bauer could file a grievance if MLB suspends him. The case would go before an arbitrator who would decide it.
AP Sports Writer Beth Harris contributed.