[Ed. note: tw: sexual assault]
The Washington Post reported on Saturday that Cy Young award winner Trevor Bauer, whose administrative leave has once again been extended by Major League Baseball amid a sexual assault investigation, had an earlier order of protection issued against him last year by an Ohio judge, on behalf of a women whose assault allegations were similar to the ones that sparked his banishment from the Dodgers earlier this summer.
Like the California case, the Ohio woman alleged that Bauer choked her and crossed a line from consensual sex to sexual assault by continuing and getting rougher after consent was withdrawn. Beyond that, the attorney who filed the order of protection for the woman, Timothy Hess, told the Post that Bauer threatened to send video of himself and the Ohio woman having sex to her family. The Post also obtained texts allegedly sent by Bauer telling the woman, “I don’t feel like spending time in jail for killing someone. And that’s what would happen if I saw you again.”Bauer’s reps called the allegations of physical abuse “categorically false” and told the Post that Bauer and the Ohio woman were in a consensual relationship from 2016 to 2019, and that she filed the “bogus order of protection” while demanding money to remain silent.
Both orders of protection were issued ex parte, without hearing testimony from Bauer’s side. The Ohio order was dropped six weeks after filing.
The alleged victim declined to speak with the Post, but her representatives did. According to a since-expunged police report obtained by the Post, the cops came to Bauer’s home in 2017 after he called to complain that a woman he called “a friend of his” had assaulted him and refused to leave.” The report says the officers asked Bauer if he wanted to press charges for assault because of “scratches on his right arm.” The woman tried to show Sgt. Timothy Cummings pictures on her phone of “‘red eyes,’’ which she claimed were caused by Bauer on a previous occasion.” Cummings’ report did not again refer to those allegations, and instead the police arrested her for underage drinking.
(If you’re wondering why victims don’t report their assaults to the police, this could be part of the reason why.)
Bauer, who is still being paid while on administrative leave, but is certainly being confronted with the end of his baseball career, as well as criminal justice implications, broke a monthlong Twitter silence on Saturday to address the latest report.
“The Washington Post has spent the last six weeks digging into my life and attempting to contact hundreds of female friends and acquaintances with whom they suspect I had some form of romantic relationship — some of whom I haven’t had contact with in over a decade — in an effort to create a false narrative,” Bauer wrote.
Counterpoint: Congratulations to the Post on doing exhaustive reporting, going back not only through Bauer’s recent past, but finding people he’s been out of touch with for years. That’s good journalism and they should be proud of it.
Back to Bauer:
“Several of these individuals have sent me screenshots of their requests, many shared that they had only positive things to say, and others felt very uncomfortable or harassed by the nature of their requests.”
So, the people who are in touch with Bauer, and are still willing to communicate with him amid multiple reports of him being, at best, a creep, only had positive things to say about him. Okay. And the requests made them uncomfortable? Yeah, it’s a story being reported about sexual assault. That’s not comfortable.
“Despite my representative providing a wealth of contradictory evidence, documents, statements, and background information showing the pattern of disturbing behavior by this woman and her attorneys, The Washington Post opted to ignore much of this information and to run a salacious story disseminating defamatory statements, false information, and baseless allegations from a woman who has not only harassed and physically assaulted me but who also attempted to extort me for millions of dollars last year in exchange for her not coming forward with false claims.”
The “disturbing behavior by this woman and her attorneys” included obtaining an ex parte temporary restraining order from a judge. And the Post reported about Bauer being “physically assaulted” — the scratches on his arm that resulted in the police asking whether he wanted to press charges. So what information in the story is false, by the way? There’s a lot of specific stuff in there — seems like it would be pretty simple to give an example of what’s false or defamatory or baseless, no?
“This is a continuation by the woman and her attorneys to make good on their threats to harm me by perpetrating a false narrative. This has been a game to her from the beginning but my life is not a game and I won’t stand by idly and allow this conduct to continue.”
The woman is making good on her threats by… remaining silent for several weeks, then only sharing information with the Post through her representatives, after declining to talk to the paper herself? Got it. Also, remember the part where the Post went and did more reporting, like reviewing sealed court documents , and obtaining the police report about the incident where the woman herself was arrested, despite it having been expunged.
When reached for comment, Bauer’s legal team referred Deadspin to the second statement posted on Bauer’s Twitter, from co-agents Jon Fetterolf and Rachel Luba, claiming that the alleged victim filed “for a protection order as a means to threaten and attempt to extort money from Mr. Bauer, demanding $3.4 million for her to ‘remain silent.’”
Extortion is a serious crime, one that the baseball world has seen before, when Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was the victim of such a plot by his former mistress, who was reportedly angry upon discovering that she wasn’t the only “other woman” in Cashman’s life. If that’s what was happening here, lawyers as good as Bauer’s would presumably be able to do more than just toss around claims on Twitter about it.
But that’s in the Post story, too, as the paper obtained emails showing that Bauer’s lawyer in Cleveland, Roger Syenberg, “first mentioned the possibility of a financial settlement,” and asked the woman’s lawyers about a dollar figure. Syenberg told the Post amid its thorough reporting that he “only mentioned money as a possible motive. I did not offer any, assured Mr. Hess [the woman’s then-lawyer] I had no authority to offer any as well as making it clear that Mr. Bauer had never even suggested it.”
And now the details are in the public space, and the notion that the accusations against Bauer are solely motivated by money, given the detailed allegations that have been made, doesn’t seem to pass the smell test.
Whatever happens with Bauer in the California case, it’s now clearer than ever: this is a man who should never be at another Major League Baseball game without buying a ticket.