Following a lengthy investigation by authorities, it was reported that Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer would not face criminal charges over sexual assault allegations that were revealed in June of last year.
Bill Shaikin and Richard Winton of the Los Angeles Times wrote that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt against Bauer.
The district attorney opted not to file assault charges in the first encounter in April and domestic violence charges in the second encounter in May, determining there was insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Bauer committed a crime.
The district attorney’s office essentially said the same.
The declination of charges by the district attorney’s office included the following: “After a thorough review of all the available evidence including the civil restraining order proceedings, witness statements and the physical evidence — the People are unable to prove the relevant charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Those charges were assault by means likely to cause great bodily harm, sodomy of a sleeping person and domestic violence.”
Meanwhile, Bauer responded to the news with a video, in which he denies anything non-consensual occurring.
“I never punched this woman in the face. I never punched her in the vagina. I never scratched her face. I never had anal sex with her or sodomized her in any way. I never assaulted her in any way at any time. And while we did have consensual rough sex, the disturbing acts and conduct that she described simply did not occur.”
Meanwhile, MLB’s investigation in the matter is ongoing and they declined comment, but most expect Bauer to still be suspended.
Manfred is widely expected to do so, but not soon. MLB issued a statement moments after the district attorney decision: “MLB’s investigation is ongoing, and we will comment further at the appropriate time.”
Shaikin also mentions as much in his Q&A on what happens now.
The length of any potential suspension is still unknown, but as the LAT mentions, Bauer’s investigation is unique as it involves more than one alleged victim.
None of those players was publicly identified with more than one alleged victim. The Washington Post reported an Ohio woman claimed she had suffered injuries during a sexual encounter in which Bauer punched and choked her without consent; the woman has cooperated with MLB investigators. Bauer’s agents have dismissed those allegations as “categorically false.”
Either way, it’s doubtful that any action will be taken before the lockout ends.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, have continued to let things play out.
Honestly, this is about what I expected to happen due to the general difficulty in prosecuting sexual assault allegations if nothing else, especially after the restraining order against Bauer wasn’t granted. Similarly though, I would be surprised if he isn’t handed a suspension of some sort given MLB’s precedent where they’ve suspended players for a lot less than what has been made public in Bauer’s case. Regardless, this doesn’t seem like it will be resolved any time soon.