Dodgers' Trevor Bauer is put on leave by MLB after assault allegation

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Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Trevor Bauer works against the San Francisco Giants.
Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer (D. Ross Cameron / Associated Press)

Major League Baseball put Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer on paid administrative leave Friday after a woman accused him of sexual assault and obtained a temporary restraining order against him Tuesday.

Under MLB’s domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy, Commissioner Rob Manfred can put Bauer on leave for seven days. The league can extend the leave only with the consent of the players’ union.

Bauer, who was scheduled to pitch Sunday against the Washington Nationals, is not allowed around the team while on leave.

“MLB’s investigation into the allegations made against Trevor Bauer is ongoing,” MLB said in a statement. “While no determination in the case has been made, we have made the decision to place Mr. Bauer on seven-day administrative leave effective immediately.

“MLB continues to collect information in our ongoing investigation concurrent with the Pasadena Police Department’s active criminal investigation.”

Bauer’s two agents, Jon Fetterolf and Rachel Luba, issued a statement saying Bauer will not appeal the league’s decision.

“We reaffirm our original statement and refute [the woman’s] allegations in the strongest possible terms,” the statement read. “Mr. Bauer will not appeal MLB’s decision to place him on administrative leave at this time in an effort to minimize any distraction to the Dodgers organization and to his teammates. Of note, administrative leave is neither a disciplinary action nor does it in any way reflect a finding in the league's investigation.”

In the woman’s report, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, she accused the 30-year-old Bauer of nonconsensual sex on two occasions three weeks apart — one in April and one in May — in Bauer’s Pasadena home. Fetterolf issued a statement Tuesday saying that Bauer denies the claims and that the encounters were fully consensual.

Dodgers President Stan Kasten said he, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and Dodgers general counsel Sam Fernandez contacted MLB immediately upon learning of the allegations Tuesday night.

Bauer traveled with the Dodgers to Washington on Wednesday. He went through his usual routine on the field at Nationals Park before the Dodgers’ 6-2 win Thursday and declined to speak to reporters.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Thursday the team still planned on having Bauer start Sunday. He said the situation was “out of our hands” and he was following MLB’s direction.

On Friday, Kasten said the players’ union would have filed a grievance against the league if the Dodgers pushed Bauer’s start back.

“I am mindful that there are a lot of people with very strong feelings about this,” Kasten said. “As I said, personally, through our organization, through our fans, right, I get that, I understand, I’m very sensitive to that. But for right now, I think it’s really important we absorb the process as the best way for all of us to get the right result.”

Pasadena police said Friday the felony assault investigation is ongoing. Lt. Carolyn Gordon said she has “no idea” whether the investigation might extend beyond July 23, when a judge will hold a hearing to determine whether to keep the restraining order against Bauer in place.

To this point, the investigation has lasted six weeks. Asked whether the police are looking into any other possible victims, Gordon responded, “No comment.”

Gordon said the league is conducting “a separate and independent investigation.” Since the MLB investigation started this week, the league does not anticipate it will conclude in the seven days Manfred can unilaterally keep Bauer on administrative leave.

Depending on the pace of the police and MLB investigations, it is possible the league could learn whether the Los Angeles County district attorney will charge Bauer with any crime before completing its own investigation.

The league has reached out to representatives of the woman accusing Bauer of sexual assault, but as of Friday afternoon, no interview has been arranged.

In the report filed Tuesday, the woman wrote she was choked and lost consciousness in both encounters with Bauer, Bauer had anal sex with her without her consent and Bauer hit her in the face during the second encounter.

The woman said she was taken to a hospital a few days later. In the court filing, she produced what she alleged were medical records that show she underwent rapid CT scans of her brain, face and neck. The records show that the woman “appears to have suffered significant head and facial trauma.” Pictures of her face included in the filing show swelling on her jaw and cheekbone, bruising under her eyes and a scab on her lip.

“I agreed to have consensual sex, however, I did not agree or consent to what he did next,” the woman wrote in the restraining order request. “I did not agree to be sexually assaulted.”

Bauer’s representatives provided The Times with what they identified as text messages from the woman May 9, between her two visits to Bauer’s home. According to the texts, which have not been authenticated by The Times, the woman told Bauer that she “had never been more turned on in my life” being choked by him. “Gimme all the pain. Rawr.”

“Any allegations that the pair’s encounters were not 100% consensual are baseless, defamatory, and will be refuted to the fullest extent of the law,” part of Fetterolf’s statement Tuesday read.

The woman’s attorney, Bryan Freedman, said: “Any suggestion that she was not the victim of assault is not only false and defamatory but, in fact, perpetuates the abuse.”

The temporary restraining order was granted Tuesday. The hearing to determine the validity of the order in civil court is scheduled for July 23. The hearing is distinct from the criminal investigation. No charges have been filed.

Under MLB’s policy, however, the league can suspend a player even if he is not charged with a crime.

Since the policy’s implementation during the 2015 season, 14 players have been suspended for violation of the policy. Suspensions have ranged from 15 to 162 games. Five of the players were put on paid administrative leave. Two other players — Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers and Miguel Sanó of the Minnesota Twins — were investigated but didn’t face discipline.

Dodgers pitcher Julio Urías was put on paid administrative leave in May 2019 the day after he was arrested on suspicion of domestic battery. Charges were not filed, but MLB suspended him for 20 games in August.

Kasten declined to say whether the police have contacted the organization. Asked whether Bauer will appear in another game for the Dodgers, Kasten said he doesn’t have “any way of answering that because, right now, this is in the hands of the commissioner’s office.”

The Dodgers signed Bauer to a three-year, $102-million contract with opt-outs after the first and second seasons in February, making him one of the highest-paid players in the majors. Kasten said releasing Bauer is “not something that I’m going to entertain at this stage.”

“The appropriate thing is to let the process that the players and the Commissioner’s Office have agreed upon [play out,]” Kasten said. “So let’s get through that and then we’ll be able to discuss that in more depth.”

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, the longest-tenured player on the team, declined to comment Friday when asked whether the team would accept Bauer if he returns after the leave.

Hours earlier, Kershaw and other members of the 2020 Dodgers visited the White House to celebrate their World Series championship with President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Bauer wasn’t invited because he wasn’t on the team last season. About an hour after the event concluded, MLB announced he was put on leave.

“I still — and the Dodgers still — take the stance that we’re going to support any decision Major League Baseball makes,” Roberts said.

Times staff writers Bill Shaikin and Mike DiGiovanna contributed to this report.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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