Sports

Trevor Bauer informs court he plans to demand that his accuser pay his attorney fees

Trevor Bauer plans to ask a court to order the California woman who accused him of sexual assault to pay for his costs in defending himself against her request for a restraining order.

In a notice filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Sept. 20, Bauer did not ask for a specific amount of money. Instead, he asked to defer that request until he receives her telephone records from the Pasadena Police Department. The department investigated her allegations of sexual assault and turned its file over to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, which is deciding whether to charge Bauer with any crimes.

Bauer claimed in the court filing that the woman had misused the restraining order process to “gain publicity and harm [Bauer’s] career.” He alleged the phone records in the possession of the Pasadena police would support the contention that the woman “deliberately and systematically deleted and hid much information relevant to a full and complete understanding of her encounters with Mr. Bauer, including communications with her closest friends that revealed her improper motive.”

In August, a judge lifted a temporary restraining order against the Dodgers pitcher, finding in part that there was no evidence Bauer would harm the woman in the future, or even contact her. The judge also ruled that the woman had been “materially misleading” in describing her contacts with Bauer after their two sexual encounters.

Bauer’s contract with the Dodgers pays him $38 million this season. Although Bauer has been on administrative leave from the team since July 2, pending investigation by Major League Baseball, he is paid while on that leave.

Under the California Family Code, a court can order attorney fees paid to the prevailing party in a restraining order case.

If the party seeking protection prevails, the court must consider “(1) the respective incomes and needs of the parties, and (2) any factors affecting the parties’ respective abilities to pay.” However, the code does not specify what factors the court should consider if the party defending himself or herself prevails.

Chloe Wolman, a Los Angeles family law attorney, said the court would have to balance various public policy priorities: one, the interest in deterring lawsuits that could be frivolous or unreasonable; two, the interest in encouraging victims of sexual assault to come forward; three, the financial situations of both parties.

Wolman also said the court could consider that, in a text message included in one of Bauer’s court filings, the woman said the fee for her to retain one of her attorneys was $25,000.

Wolman said the court could deny Bauer’s request, grant him all the fees he requests, or grant him a portion. She also said the request for attorney fees might be “designed to silence anyone else who thinks they might have a case” against him.

In August, the Washington Post reported an Ohio woman had dismissed her temporary restraining order against Bauer “after Bauer’s attorneys threatened legal action.” Bauer’s agents, Jon Fetterolf and Rachel Luba, said the woman had filed a “bogus protection petition as a ruse to demand millions of dollars.”

In the California case, his attorneys have dismissed the claims of sexual assault as “baseless allegations.” MLB is expected to consider the allegations of the woman, who submitted medical records to the court in which she was diagnosed with “assault by manual strangulation” and “acute head injury” following the second of two sexual encounters with Bauer at his Pasadena home.

A representative for the woman had no comment.

Times staff writer Steve Henson contributed to this report.



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