Dodgers Pitcher Trevor Bauer Suspended 2 Seasons for Violating MLB's Sexual Assault Policy

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What is the Major League Baseball (MLB) Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Policy?

What is the Major League Baseball (MLB) Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Policy?

May 2, 2022

Major League Baseball (MLB) announced the suspension of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer last week. Citing violation of the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy, commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed that Bauer’s suspension – effective as of Friday, April 30, 2021 – would span two seasons (324 games) without pay. Said suspension, the longest non-life ban of its kind in the seven years since the league’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse policy took effect, does not account for the 99 games for which Bauer has been on leave, according to a report from The Sporting News.

Dodgers Pitcher Trevor Bauer Suspended 2 Seasons for Violating MLB’s Sexual Assault Policy

Bauer had been on paid administrative leave since July 2, 2021, with MLB extending his leave as it continued its investigation into “claims of sexual assault from a California woman,” according to The Sporting News.

As we noted in a blog post from September 2021, the Washington Post reported that a woman made “graphic allegations in court filings, supported by photos and medical records, about two separate sexual encounters with Bauer.” Said sexual encounters allegedly turned violent, and the alleged survivor was reportedly granted a temporary domestic violence restraining order against Bauer in June of 2021.

The Washington Post report also noted:

  • Bauer was the subject of a temporary order of protection sought by a different woman in 2020, according to sealed court records reviewed by the newspaper.
  • The second woman, an Ohio resident, sought the order in June 2020 following “repeated threats from the then-Cincinnati Reds pitcher.
  • The investigation was based on statements from the woman’s lawyer as well as records separately obtained by the newspaper.
  • Photographs independently obtained by the newspaper show bruises on the woman’s face and blood in her eyes, which her attorney told the newspaper were caused by Bauer punching and choking her during sex without consent.
  • Both women’s accounts of violent sexual encounters with Bauer are “strikingly similar.”
  • A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge eventually denied the request from Bauer’s California accuser seeking a permanent restraining order in August 2021.

Following Bauer’s confirmed suspension, the Los Angeles Dodgers issued the following statement:

Today, we were informed that MLB has concluded its investigation into allegations that have been made against Trevor Bauer, and the Commissioner has issued his decision regarding discipline. The Dodgers organization takes all allegations of this nature very seriously and does not condone or excuse any acts of domestic violence or sexual assault. We’ve cooperated fully with MLB’s investigation since it began, and we fully support MLB’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse Policy, and the Commissioner’s enforcement of the Policy. We understand that Trevor has the right to appeal the Commissioner’s decision. Therefore, we will not comment further until the process is complete.

Trevor Bauer responded to MLB’s suspension announcement on Twitter by denying the accusations and asserting that he would appeal the decision.

In the strongest possible terms, I deny committing any violation of the league’s domestic violence & sexual assault policy,” Bauer wrote.

I am appealing this action and expect to prevail. As we have throughout this process, my representatives & I respect the confidentiality of the proceedings.”

A Los Angeles Times report noted that Bauer is the first of 16 players suspended under MLB’s sexual assault and domestic violence policy not to agree on a negotiated settlement.

Bauer is under contract with the Dodgers for the remainder of the 2022 season with an annual salary of $32 million. He has an opt-out clause ahead of the 2023 season where he is owed another $32 million, according to The Sporting News. If his suspension is upheld after the appeal, however, The Sporting News notes that Bauer “would not receive any remaining money from his contract, regardless of whether he opts out.”

In February, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon announced that Bauer would not face any criminal charges related to the sexual violence allegations.

About the Sexual Violence Allegations Against Trevor Bauer of the L.A. Dodgers

A June 2021 report from The Athletic detailed the allegations against Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer. According to The Athletic:

  • A woman, identified only as “Ms. Hill,” alleged that she had two sexual encounters with Bauer, one in April and the other in May.
  • She claimed Bauer performed multiple sexual acts without consent after initiating sex without consent, and choked her to the point of unconsciousness. She also said he punched her in the face and genitals.
  • During the second encounter, she claimed to have suffered multiple injuries, with medical notes indicating she had “significant head and facial trauma” with signs of a basilar skull fracture.
  • An intake form indicated “head and facial trauma,” but a CT scan and MRI revealed no such injuries, according to public records.
  • References to “signs of a basilar skull fracture” from the intake form have since been ruled by Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman to have been “materially misleading.”
  • The woman filed a temporary ex parte restraining order that was executed on June 28 with the Los Angeles Superior Court.
  • An L.A. County Superior Court judge later denied Ms. Hill’s request to make the ex parte restraining order permanent and dissolved the ex parte restraining order after a July 23rd hearing in which Bauer was able to respond/refute the allegations.

After the initial allegations surfaced, Bauer’s agent, Jon Fetterolf, issued the following statement:

“[Ms. Hill’s] basis for filing a protection order is nonexistent, fraudulent, and deliberately omits key facts, information, and her own relevant communications. 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. and claimed that the encounters were fully consensual.”

Bauer maintained that both sexual encounters with Ms. Hill were “wholly consensual,” according to The Sporting News.

What is MLB’s Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Policy?

Major League Baseball announced the creation of its Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse Policy in August 2015. The policy states that MLB:

  • Takes an absolute stand against domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse
  • Protects the legal and procedural rights of players
  • Provides assistance to victims and families, especially information and referrals to available resources
  • Recognizes that players may also be the victims in intimate relationships
  • Focuses on education and prevention, including training on this policy
  • Utilizes the most effective methods and resources for therapeutic intervention for abusers and those abused
  • Allows for therapeutic programs for players and for the imposition of appropriate discipline on players.

Furthermore, the policy covers acts of child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault (together, “Covered Act“) as defined below:

  • Domestic violence: is a pattern of abusive behavior in any intimate relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. It occurs in heterosexual and same sex relationships and impacts individuals from all economic, educational, cultural, age, gender, racial, and religious demographics. Domestic violence includes, but is not limited to, physical or sexual violence, emotional and/or psychological intimidation, verbal violence, stalking, economic control, harassment, physical intimidation, or injury. Notwithstanding this definition, a single incident of abusive behavior in any intimate relationship, or a single incident of abusive behavior involving a female member of a player’s family who is domiciled with him, may subject a player to discipline under this policy.
  • Sexual assault: refers to a range of behaviors, including a completed nonconsensual sex act, an attempted nonconsensual sex act, and/or nonconsensual sexual contact. Lack of consent is inferred when a person uses force, harassment, threat of force, threat of adverse personnel or disciplinary action, or other coercion, or when the victim is asleep, incapacitated, unconscious, or legally incapable of consent.
  • Child abuse: is any act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation of a child who is under the age of 18 or not an emancipated minor, or any act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of such harm to such a child.

To read MLB’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse Policy in its entirety, please click here.

List of Players Suspended Under MLB’s Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Policy

The following players have been suspended under Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse Policy:

List of Players Suspended Under MLB’s Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Policy

ESPN reported that the MLB domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse policy grants league commissioner Rob Manfred the autonomy to suspend players under “just cause.” The prior suspensions – not counting that of former reliever Felipe Vazquez, who is serving a jail sentence for sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl – have ranged from 15 to 162 games and were the result of negotiated settlements in which players waived their right to appeal, according to ESPN.

According to a report from SB Nation, prior to MLB’s 2015 policy taking effect, “the league’s stance on domestic violence was lax.”

No Major League Baseball team reportedly took disciplinary action against a player accused of or arrested for domestic violence until the Boston Red Sox suspended Wil Cordero in 1997 following a domestic violence arrest.

How to File a Sexual Assault Civil Lawsuit

A sexual assault civil lawsuit may be brought by a survivor in an effort to recover financial compensation for various types of losses. Depending on the circumstances of a sex crime, compensatory damages may be pursued and recovered through a civil claim with Dordulian Law Group.

Examples of some common damages that may be secured through a sexual assault or abuse civil claim include:

  • Counseling or therapy expenses
  • Emotional trauma
  • Psychological distress
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Hospital or medical expenses

In many instances, sexual assault survivors are able to obtain justice and recover financial compensation without having to go through a lengthy trial. Sexual assault financial settlements are often able to be obtained with the assistance of an experienced attorney.

How Much Time Do I Have to File a Sexual Assault Civil Claim?

For adult sexual assault survivors, the California statute of limitations on sex crimes allows you to file a civil claim up to 10 years after an incident. Additionally, the statute of limitations allows for a three-year window in civil claims where sexual assaults lead to the discovery of a psychological injury, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Children impacted by sexual abuse are currently eligible to file civil claims regardless of when a crime occurred under AB 218. For additional information on California AB 218 and how it offers survivors of childhood sexual abuse an unprecedented opportunity at justice, please visit our recent blog post.

Contact a Los Angeles, California, Sexual Assault Lawyer Today

Dordulian Law Group (DLG) is a leading California-based sex crimes firm representing survivors across the United States. Led by former sex crimes prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, Sam Dordulian, DLG offers survivors a unique type of legal representation which includes a four-tiered team of professionals known as the SAJE Team.

If you experienced a sexual assault incident, don’t wait to file a claim. Contact our expert attorneys online or by phone for a free consultation today.

DLG’s experienced sexual assault lawyers have helped countless survivors secure maximum financial damages awards.

Some of our recent sex crime civil lawsuit victories include:

For a free and confidential consultation about your sexual assault civil lawsuit, contact a member of DLG’s SAJE Team today at 818-322-4056. Our proven California sexual assault attorneys have helped victims recover more than $100,000,000 in settlements and verdicts while maintaining a 98% success record.

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