America at Large: Horrific allegations likely to cost $100 million pitcher his career

Los Angeles Dodgers signing Trevor Bauer faces charges of alleged sexual assault

Trevor Bauer was guaranteed €38 million for this season alone by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Photograph: Sean M Haffey/Getty Images

Trevor Bauer was guaranteed €38 million for this season alone by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Photograph: Sean M Haffey/Getty Images

 

In a sports world where too many married players routinely cheat on their significant others, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Trevor Bauer once laid out the three conditions he insists upon when meeting a woman on a first date.

In his peculiarly evolved approach to modern romance, the pitcher first declares himself emotionally unavailable and warns he will cut off contact immediately if the other person ever shows signs of developing feelings during their time together. Second, any mention of the relationship on her social media will also be grounds for abruptly ending the affair. And then there’s the final parameter.

“Three: I sleep with other people,” Bauer told Sports Illustrated. “I’m going to continue to sleep with other people. If you’re not okay with that, we won’t sleep together, and that’s perfectly fine. We can just be perfectly polite platonic friends.”

In June of this year, a California woman filed for a temporary domestic violence restraining order against Bauer, alleging the 30-year-old had sexually assaulted her at his home in Pasadena. She testified that having initially started chatting to him on Instagram, they ended up having consensual sex twice.

Over the course of the two nights, it is alleged he choked her until she lost consciousness, anally raped her, and violently punched her multiple times causing her to suffer a concussion. Her supporting evidence included graphic photos of the bloody injuries she had suffered and the testimony of a nurse from a sexual assault response team who said she had never witnessed so much bruising to a woman’s genitals before.

“Mr Bauer had a brief and wholly consensual sexual relationship initiated by [his accuser] beginning in April 2021,” said Jon Fetterolf, Bauer’s lawyer, in response. “We have messages that show [his accuser] repeatedly asking for ‘rough’ sexual encounters involving requests to be ‘choked out’ and slapped in the face. In both of their encounters, [his accuser] drove from San Diego to Mr Bauer’s residence in Pasadena, California where she went on to dictate what she wanted from him sexually and he did what was asked.”

Within 48 hours of the court granting that temporary order, Bauer was placed on a seven-day paid administrative leave from baseball. Having extended that suspension eight times since July, Major League Baseball confirmed last week that he is unavailable for the remainder of the season.

Just seven months ago, he signed a three-year $102 million (€86.25 million) contract with the Dodgers. His hometown team guaranteed him $38 million (€32 million) for this campaign alone, making him the highest-paid player in the sport, somebody brought in to bolster their attempt to retain the World Series.

“He once took the mound with limitless promise yet now will walk off in legendary disgrace,” wrote Bill Plaschke in the Los Angeles Times last weekend. “Trevor Bauer is officially the biggest embarrassment in Los Angeles Dodgers’ history. He will surely never pitch for the Dodgers again. He may never pitch for anybody again. But the damage his brief presence wrought upon an organization built on strong community and smart baseball has been indelible. The Dodgers have suffered humiliations before, but never one as deeply felt as this.”

Shortly before Pasadena police sent its report into the assaults to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office last month, the Washington Post unearthed another, remarkably similar tale about Bauer. In June, 2020, a woman in Ohio filed for an order of protection, citing repeated threats made against her by the player.

In the legal complaint, this individual claimed to have been punched and violently assaulted during what had initially been consensual sexual encounters. As part of their investigation, the Post obtained photographs showing bruising to the woman’s face and blood in her eyes. It also published many disturbing messages they exchanged.

“Like the only reason I’d ever consider seeing you again is to choke you unconscious punch you in the face, shove my fist up you’re a-- skull f**k you and kick you out naked,” wrote Bauer in one SnapChat. “And obviously I would never do something like that to anyone. So cant even enjoy the one thing I sometimes enjoyed with you.”

Circumventing his legal team, Bauer took to Twitter to deny those allegations, calling that accuser a gold-digger, saying the Post created a false narrative while contacting hundreds of women associated with him in their attempt to uncover dirt.

Not the first time he used social media to go after somebody. Indeed, last winter, when he was being courted by various clubs as a prized free agent, it was widely reported this famously abrasive character had an extensive and troubling online resume, including harassing women and encouraging his massive following to go after female reporters.

The Dodgers chose to ignore all those warning signs, begging the question about whether they did their due diligence at all before investing $102 million. How come a club with massive resources didn’t find out about the Ohio case, details of which were freely available at the court? Worse again, maybe they knew and chose to recruit him anyway, preferring to buy into the lazy media narrative painting him as some sort of misunderstood pitching savant.

“People get the wrong impression about me,” said Bauer. “They think I’m elitist or I’m conceited or whatever. But I’m a really good person. I take care of my friends and my family. I’m kind hearted. I’m a better person than a lot of people I’m surrounded by.”

His file remains with the Los Angeles District Attorney.

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