A woman who publicly accused Los Angeles Dodgers star pitcher Trevor Bauer of sexual assault last summer sued him Tuesday for sexual battery, the latest development in a legal back-and-forth playing out on both coasts as Bauer attempts to save his career.
The woman’s lawsuit, filed in federal court in Los Angeles, is a counterclaim to a defamation suit Bauer lodged against the woman and her attorney in April.
In her counterclaim, the woman alleges Bauer’s defamation claims are an attempt to silence and intimidate her after she sought a restraining order against him. Though Bauer named the woman in his lawsuit, The Washington Post typically does not name alleged victims of domestic violence unless they ask to be identified.
The woman’s counterclaim seeks damages relating to claims similar to the accusations she made last year in her application for a temporary restraining order. Her counterclaim includes allegations of repeated violence by Bauer during sex, including choking her until she was unconscious, after which she alleges he punched her and penetrated her without her consent. The woman’s suit alleges Bauer “tacitly” admitted to striking her repeatedly while she was unconscious on a phone call with Pasadena police.
The woman suffered “physical injury, severe emotional distress, [and] humiliation” as a result of Bauer’s sexual battery, the suit alleges.
“It’s not about, nor has it ever been about, the money,” the woman’s attorney, Bryan Freedman, said of her counterclaim. “She is making a claim because he’s accused her of trying to extort him, and that is provably false. She has never even requested money from Bauer and his accusation of such is not only patently false but yet another form of harassment and bullying.”
Bauer’s representatives did not respond to a request for comments. The pitcher sued the woman and her attorney in April, after prosecutors said they would not bring criminal charges against him and a judge denied the woman’s restraining order against him. Last summer, a Los Angeles judge called the woman’s initial petition for a restraining order “materially misleading” and found she had appeared to consent to rough sex.
“In the context of a sexual encounter, when a woman says, ‘no,’ she should be believed,” Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman said. “So what about when she says, ‘yes’?”
Major League Baseball conducted its own investigation and suspended Bauer for two years, a decision Bauer is appealing.
A hearing on Bauer’s appeal, to be decided by an arbitrator, has been ongoing since May. MLB declined to comment on its status.
The woman’s suit lays out allegations that go far beyond choking, which the suit concedes the woman consented to. After Bauer choked the woman unconscious with her hair, the suit alleges, she regained consciousness to find him having anal sex with her.
“[The woman] did not — because she could not — consent to having such anal sex,” the suit says. In another incident, the suit alleges, the woman awoke to find Bauer punching her between her legs, which she said caused her “excruciating pain.”
The woman’s suit against Bauer includes references to two other, similar allegations against Bauer, both of which were initially reported by The Post.
The Post last year reported that a woman in Ohio had previously sought a temporary restraining order against Bauer and that photographs showed her with bruises on her face that the woman’s attorney alleged were caused by Bauer. Another woman said that during a years-long sexual relationship Bauer choked her without her consent and anally penetrated her while she was unconscious. Bauer has denied both of those women’s claims.
The woman’s lawsuit includes previously unreported excerpts from what it alleges was a phone call between the woman and Bauer that was recorded and made in cooperation with the police. During the call, the suit says, when the woman asked Bauer how he thought it was “okay” to punch and bruise her, “Bauer stated, among other things, that he should have ‘clarified that,’ talked to [the woman] ‘more about it’ and gotten on the ‘same page with [her] about that.’”
In February, after he was cleared of criminal charges, Bauer denied in a YouTube video that he punched the woman in the face or vagina, sodomized her or “assaulted her in any way.” But the lawsuit, which does not say where the excerpts of the phone call were obtained, alleges that, during the call, “Bauer did not dispute that he punched” the woman between her legs or in the face.
When the woman asked Bauer how many times he had hit her in the head during the call, the lawsuit alleges, he responded in part: “I’m not sure. It wasn’t that many.”
This story has been updated to include comments from the woman’s attorney.