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The woman seeking a restraining order against Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer testified for nearly four hours Monday in L.A. Superior Court, saying, “I felt like my soul left my body” when according to her Bauer started punching her in the face while having sex with her.
Bauer is accused of assaulting the woman during their only two sexual encounters, on the nights of April 21 and May 15 at his Pasadena home. No criminal charges or civil suits have been filed and Bauer is on paid administrative leave from Major League Baseball. His legal team has argued both encounters were consensual.
The woman obtained a temporary restraining order June 28 and is seeking to have it extended the maximum five years allowed under California law. The request by Bauer’s attorneys for a third continuance was denied Monday morning by Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman, and the accuser was the first witness called after opening statements.
Her testimony will resume Tuesday, then Bauer’s counsel will cross-examine her before additional witnesses are called.
While constantly adjusting her blue protective mask, the woman was alternately poised and teary as she recounted the two sexual encounters while also trying to explain a rash of often brazen, vulgar Instagram direct messages and phone texts she sent to Bauer, her cousin and close friends.
Near the end of the day she recounted the second time she had sex with Bauer. She testified that even though he had stuck two fingers down her throat, choked her to the point of unconsciousness and engaged in anal sex without her consent the first time they met, “I felt very safe with him,” the second time.
“His kisses were not aggressive at all,” she testified. “He was on top. That’s when he asked me what’s off limits ... I felt like I had to act like I knew what I was doing. I said no fingers down the throat. I said I didn’t like anal sex.”
Bauer, she said, slapped her in the face “but not hard,” then rolled her on her stomach and again initiated choking her by wrapping her hair around her neck. “There was very tight pressure on my neck. I couldn’t breathe. I was gasping for air then lost consciousness,” she testified.
Bauer’s attorneys say Instagram messages sent by the accuser make clear that she not only consented to Bauer choking her unconscious while having sex, but encouraged it. Bauer attended the hearing Monday and sat expressionless, like everyone in the courtroom wearing a protective mask.
Between the two encounters she messaged Bauer that the choking “was a gamechanger” that “I’ve never been more turned on in my life” and “give me the pain.”
In her testimony, the accuser explained that she sent the messages because she “was going with the flow. I wanted to tell him what he wanted to hear. I wanted to create a better experience than the first time.”
When she regained consciousness after being choked during the second encounter, she said Bauer turned her over on her back while still having vaginal sex and “he started punching me.”
She said she was nauseous and had difficulty opening her eyes. “I was trying to regain consciousness,” she said. He began hitting her, she said, with a closed fist on the left side of her jaw, then on her head. “I felt like my soul left my body. I was terrified. I couldn’t fight back.”
She testified that she never gave Bauer consent to punch her and that he also punched her three times in the vagina. She said that she passed out again, and when she woke her entire body was in pain.
“I had blood in my mouth. ... I couldn’t open my jaw. I had this horrible burning right behind my ears. ... The pain was so excruciating on top of all the other pain I was experiencing that it brought my soul back into my body.”
The first portion of her testimony established that she is a lifelong baseball fan who became aware of Bauer in February when he was pitching for the Dodgers during spring training. "I noticed that he was closing one eye [while pitching] and ... I’m drawn to people doing unique things. I told my mom about it. That was the first thing that intrigued me about him."
The San Diego resident testified that on April 18 she created an Instagram story while watching Bauer pitch against the Padres and began it with this message: "Open third eye to rattle @baueroutage." She tagged Bauer's account, but because she estimated he had about 400,000 followers, she said she did not expect a response.
Bauer did respond, and they exchanged Instagram direct messages for three days until she drove to his Pasadena home on the night of April 21 when they had their first of two sexual encounters.
A few days later, she said, she had two black eyes, a swollen jaw and cheekbones, a split lip and bruising near her vagina, on her gums and on her head. Pictures of her face included in the court filing show bruising under her eyes and a scab on her lip as well as swelling on her jaw and cheekbone.
During the opening statement for Bauer, attorney Shawn Holley argued that when the accuser asked Bauer to stop at several points during their sexual activity, he stopped. "All he can go on is what she’s telling him," Holley said. "When you get into a rough sex relationship, it’s a continuum."
Bauer's accuser, 27, testified that she was an alcoholic beginning at age 15 but that she has been sober since January 2020. She said she has been hospitalized for alcoholism "eight to 10 times."
She testified that during her first drive from San Diego to Bauer’s home in Pasadena she was nervous. “The whole way there I was thinking about how I was going to act and what I was going to say. He’s a very powerful person ... Since I got sober I don’t date a lot.
She said Bauer put her at ease during a long conversation in the basement of his home. “We had a deeply emotional conversation,” she testified. “I opened up about my troubles with alcoholism. ... He was very supportive and kind. ... I wouldn’t have opened up and been vulnerable if he hadn’t opened up.”
Other witnesses scheduled to be called by the accuser’s team include a forensic nurse who examined her when she sought medical attention a few days after the second encounter, three police detectives, a psychiatrist and sexual assault expert, the woman’s best friend, her father and Bauer.
Bauer's team plans to call a male friend of the accuser who exchanged several text messages with her regarding Bauer and turned them over to authorities.
The National Sexual Assault Hotline can be reached 24 hours a day at (800) 656-4673.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.