Trevor Bauer’s defamation case could be thrown out

Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer and his attorneys misrepresented the judge’s findings in denying a restraining order to a woman who had accused him of sexual assault, according to a preliminary ruling released Friday on a federal court’s website.

The verdict would drop Bauer’s defamation lawsuit against Fred Thiagarajah, a former attorney for the prosecutor. US District Court Judge James Selna said either side could request a hearing before the verdict is finalized.

Bauer has sued five other parties for defamation, including the accuser, Athletic and Deadspin. Those cases are pending, as is Bauer’s appeal of his two-year suspension for violating baseball’s sexual assault and domestic violence policy.

Bauer argued he was slandered in part because Thiagarajah told the Washington Post “there is no doubt that Mr. Bauer just brutalized the woman,” a finding that “has been established with 100 percent certainty.” Bauer noted that the Los Angeles County District Attorney declined to charge him with a felony, and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman denied the woman’s request for a restraining order.

In his preliminary decision, Selna wrote that Thiagarajah spoke in his role as the woman’s advocate. Selna also said that in his complaint, Bauer “conspicuously omits” Thiagarajah’s subsequent comment in the Post story: “The question was whether or not she consented to the abuse.”

Selna wrote: “Judge Gould-Saltman said so herself [the woman’s] Injuries were “terrible”. Bauer makes no compelling argument as to why Thiagarajah’s use of a synonym of the court’s own language misrepresents the court’s findings. Rather, the decision of the regional court must be rejected [the restraining order] was based on insufficient evidence of consent and threats of future harm, not on doubts as to whether Bauer inflicted the ‘horrific’ injuries.”

In her decision, Gould-Saltman cited “the injuries shown in the photographs” that the woman included in the request for a restraining order.

Bauer’s attorneys have since provided federal court with a video they claim shows the woman in bed with Bauer, “grinning and unharmed” after the sexual encounter that allegedly led to the injuries.

Bauer had previously said in court filings that “the images did not reflect what she looked like when she left his home that day,” but the video was the first evidence to support that claim.

In the woman’s lawsuit, her attorneys said Bauer discussed the incident in a police-recorded call and “did not deny that he had been punching.” [the woman] and that resulted in blue eyes.”

The woman’s attorneys also said Bauer punched her in the buttocks, vagina and groin, areas not shown in the video. The woman was examined at a hospital later in the day, where she was diagnosed with “acute head injury” and “assault by manual strangulation”.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/story/2022-09-30/trevor-bauer-defamation-case-could-be-thrown-out Trevor Bauer’s defamation case could be thrown out

Emma Bowman

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