Screenshot: Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (YouTube)

Former MLB outfielder and former Washington Nationals assistant hitting coach Jacque Jones was found liable last month in a San Diego civil court for distributing a private intimate photo without consent. The verdict stemmed from a lawsuit filed two years ago in which a woman going by Jane Doe said Jones sent a photo of her naked breasts to a mutual friend using Facebook messenger.

Doe was awarded about $67,000 in damages. She also will ask the court to have Jones pay her attorney fees.

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“She really wanted to fight for her rights and stand up for herself,” said Robert Fitzpatrick, one of Doe’s lawyers. “She wanted the behavior to stop. She knew he had other photos, so she didn’t know what he was capable of doing or planning on doing.”

Asked for comment, Jones’s lawyer, Howard E. King Jr., sent a lengthy statement that began by assuming Deadspin most likely had been alerted to the case by one of Doe’s lawyers, and alleging that Doe’s lawyers had “misevaluated the case,” that “Doe provoked Jones,” and shaming Doe based on her age and her past relationships, even using the phrase “colorful past.” (For those reasons, the full statement is not being republished here.)

Reached by phone after the email exchange and asked if his statement that “she’s not the most sterling character” meant that Doe deserved what happened, King said “I’m not saying she deserved anything. I defended my client the way I thought he should be defended. He had no choice... she was asking for unreasonable amounts of money.” (Doe’s initial complaint didn’t ask for a specific amount. King said Doe had asked for $2.8 million. When Deadspin ran that figure by Fitzpatrick, he said that was the amount they requested from the jury, but before that, Jones’s legal team never engaged in “meaningful settlement negotiations.”)

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In the lawsuit, Doe said she and Jones began “an intimate and sexual relationship” in January 2017, seeing each other on and off. During a stretch of time away from each other, Jones asked Doe to send a photo of her breasts, which she did. “Even though her face was cut out of the photo,” the lawsuit said, “The photo includes things that make her identifiable in the photo.”

In August 2017, Jones and Doe got into an argument when Jones traveled to San Diego with the Nationals. Jones wanted to give Doe’s father a sweatshirt, but Doe didn’t go to the hotel where he had left it for her to pick up. They bickered over messages. Five days later, Doe said she gave two Nationals hats to “a mutual male friend,” Bryan Wolf, who then posted a photo of the hats on Facebook with the caption, “Got these Fresh Hats from the homegirl. Thank you [Jane Doe].” That led Jones to send Wolf multiple photos of items he got from Doe—clothes, shoes, facial products, and the photo of Doe’s naked breasts. He wrote to Wolfe, “Ask ya homegirl if she wants these back? I see your post and she’s on some bull shit.”

Jones’s defense wasn’t that he didn’t send the photo—his lawyer said his client did. Instead, King tried to downplay what had happened. In his email to Deadspin, King wrote, “The photo did not show Doe’s face and the picture was not put on the open internet. One person saw the photo and that was it.” In California, the state’s revenge porn statute says it’s a crime when a person “intentionally distributes” photos of intimate body parts to cause harm when there had been an expectation that those photos would remain private.

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As part of the lawsuit, Jones was deposed by Doe’s lawyer in August 2018. During the deposition, Jones did not deny that he sent a photo of naked breasts, sent to him by Doe, to Wolf—although he did maintain that he couldn’t be sure those were Doe’s breasts.

(The first lawsuit filed referred to two naked photos, but in the deposition the parties talk of only one. Asked about the discrepancy, Doe’s lawyer, Fitzpatrick, said the confusion probably stemmed from the fact that Doe had shared many photos of herself clothed with Jones.)

In the deposition during the lawsuit, Jones explained his justification for sending the photo. These questions, asked by Fitzpatrick, follow discussion of Facebook messages that showed Jones telling Doe he “wouldn’t do anything silly” with the photo.

Q: Okay. So what does — what does it mean that you’re not going to do anything silly with ‘em?

A.: I’m not going to do anything silly. Just — it doesn’t have a specific meaning.

Q: Does it — does it mean that you’re not going to share the photo with anyone

A: It doesn’t mean anything in particular.· It just means I’m not going to do anything silly with them.

Q: Did you think it would be okay to share this photo with anyone?

A: I think it’s — if — I think if you send things, you open yourself up for someone to intercept something, something to get out, so I mean, anything can happen with anything that you send, any photo you send to anyone at any time.

Q: Does that mean you think it’s okay for you to share this photo with anyone?

A: I think based on this photo — there’s no face in it. I don’t know whose it is. I mean, whether I shared it or not, I mean. My thinking is different than everyone else’s.

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Jones also said he had gotten a new phone since he and Doe ended their contact, and that he regularly erased messages and photos from people as he received them. On top of that, he “cleared” his old phone before getting a new one. From the deposition:

Q: Now, when you erased the phone before you turned it in to AT&T, you knew there was a lawsuit against you accusing you of sending pictures, right?

A: Yes.

Q: Did you think that your phone would be important in that case — in this case?

A: No.

Q: Did you have any understanding that there would be relevant pictures on the phone that had to do with the lawsuit when — at the time you erased it?

A: No, I wasn’t thinking about that at the time.

Later in the deposition, Jones said the deletion happened before the lawsuit was “brought to my attention.” He also said information like contacts were transferred from his old phone to his old phone, just not messages he deleted.

Q: And you erased them after the lawsuit was brought to your attention?

A: I erased them before the lawsuit was brought to my attention.

Asked about the deletions, King said his client had a “habit and practice of deleting things. He didn’t really have any legal representation until about two weeks after he was notified, and I’m not even sure when exactly he was served.”

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During the deposition, Jones offered his account of what happened with Doe. He said they had sex several times but were never in a “relationship,” and they did fight over text messages after she didn’t go that day to pick up a sweatshirt he had left for her father at the hotel. At one point, Jones said, Doe told him that she needed space and he wrote back: “Space from what?” Jones recalled telling her, “You go your way and I’ll go mine. Delete my numbers. I’ll delete yours,” and she responded by texting, “Typical nigga. You’re just like everybody else. I knew you’d do this. I went back and took all my likes off of pictures of you on Facebook. I didn’t want people to know that I even knew you.” Then Jones blocked her on social media.

A few days after the sweatshirt argument, Jones said, he saw Wolf’s Facebook post about the hats and sent Wolf a number of photos. He said he also included the picture of her breasts, and also a picture she sent of a woman wearing a tank top and shorts, without a face shown. As noted in the lawsuit, Jones wrote to Wolf, “Ask ya homegirl if she wants these back? I see your post and she’s on some bull shit. She’s loony and the type of chick that makes a nigga wanna stay single.” Here’s Jones explaining why he did that:

A: “She wanted to give away hats. Right? She wanted to be nice. Right? I wanted to be nice and say, ‘Hey, if you’re giving away all these hats, if it’s such a big deal, why don’t you give away all these other things that you sent me, including the facial products and the clothes and the shoes, all these other things.’”

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Jones said he then blocked Doe’s number and her profiles on all social media, but received blocked calls, an email, and texts from unknown numbers talking about her—including one that said she died in a car crash. He also called Doe “stalker-ish” five times.

“It was a character assassination,” Fitzpatrick said of Jones’s defense strategy, “because he won’t own up to his responsibility.”

The Nationals, who were originally a co-defendant in the lawsuit, were dismissed by an agreement among the parties. Several other causes of action brought up in the lawsuit, including intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence, also were dropped before trial; Fitzpatrick said Doe’s legal team dismissed those as part of their litigation strategy.

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In the deposition, Jones says he was suspended with pay by the Nationals when news of the lawsuit broke on Oct. 6, 2017—the first day of the team’s National League divisional series against the Cubs. Jones did not return for any game of the series, which the Nationals lost, and after the season ended he said he was told by assistant general manager Bob Miller that his expiring contract would not be renewed. Deadspin reached out to the Nationals for comment, and this post will be updated if they respond.