On the Trevor Bauer Allegations and the Need for Better Consent Education

The graphic details in a 67-page order filed earlier this week prove we need to prioritize consent education

Trevor Bauer
Trevor Bauer of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws the first pitch in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium on June 28, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
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Update July 2:

In an email to InsideHook after the publication of this story, representatives for Trevor Bauer refuted a number of claims that appeared in The Athletic’s report on a claim filed by an unnamed California woman alleging that she was the victim of domestic and sexual assault by Bauer.

According to The Athletic, “In the woman’s declaration, signed under penalty of perjury of California state laws, she said that her medical notes state that she had ‘significant head and facial trauma’ and that there were signs of basilar skull fracture.” Bauer’s representatives assert that “In the medical documents supplied by the woman in her petition, there is a CT scan included that clearly states she does NOT have a skull fracture.” (Emphasis theirs.) On Tuesday, The Athletic added, “After publication, Trevor Bauer’s representatives emphasized that medical records showed that while the woman was initially diagnosed with signs of a basilar skull fracture, a subsequent CT scan found no acute fracture.”

Further, this story initially referred to the 67-page document filed by the accusing party as a “domestic violence restraining order.” Bauer’s representatives pointed out that the claim is legally referred to as a “temporary ex parte restraining order,” which means “that nothing has been corroborated and that her statement is taken at face value without him being given an opportunity to respond.” Bauer has been informed of the allegations and a formal hearing is scheduled for July 23, at which time Bauer’s representatives can confirm they plan to refute and defend him against the allegations.

InsideHook was also provided with screenshots of text messages that were sent by the accused party to Bauer between the first and second encounters detailed in The Athletic’s report. In those messages, the two explicitly discuss topics that include erotic asphyxiation and “slaps to the face” in what can be described as a flirtatious manner.

Here is the full statement from Jon Fetterolf, Trevor Bauer’s agent:

“Mr. Bauer had a brief and wholly consensual sexual relationship initiated by [the woman] beginning in April 2021. We have messages that show [the woman] repeatedly asking for “rough” sexual encounters involving requests to be “choked out” and slapped in the face. In both of their encounters, [the woman] drove from San Diego to Mr. Bauer’s residence in Pasadena, Calif. where she went on to dictate what she wanted from him sexually and he did what was asked. Following each of her only two meetings with Mr. Bauer, [the woman] spent the night and left without incident, continuing to message Mr. Bauer with friendly and flirtatious banter. In the days following their second and final encounter, [the woman] shared photos of herself and indicated that she had sought medical care for a concussion. Mr. Bauer responded with concern and confusion, and [the woman] was neither angry nor accusatory.

Mr. Bauer and [the woman] have not corresponded in over a month and have not seen each other in over six weeks. Her 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.”

On Friday, Major League Baseball announced it was putting Bauer on a seven-day paid administrative leave while the league and the Pasadena Police Department conduct investigations of the allegations against him. “MLB’s investigation into the allegations made against Trevor Bauer is ongoing. 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 said in a statement. “MLB continues to collect information in our ongoing investigation concurrent with the Pasadena Police Department’s active criminal investigation. We will comment further at the appropriate time.”

On Wednesday, The Athletic published a story recounting the details of a 67-page temporary ex parte restraining order filed against Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer, and they’re horrific to say the least. In the document, Bauer’s accuser (a 27-year-old woman whose name is being kept anonymous) claims he assaulted her on two separate occasions, “punching her in the face, vagina, and buttocks, sticking his fingers down her throat, and strangling her to the point where she lost consciousness multiple times” and leaving her with “significant head and facial trauma” including a possible basilar skull fracture. (You can read the full, detailed allegations here, but consider yourself warned: they’re very graphic.

Bauer claims through his attorney that he and the woman were simply engaging in consensual “rough sex,” but in reading through the allegations, it’s clear that — based on the woman’s account of the events, at least — the pitcher lacks an understanding of what exactly consent entails. Even if she did consent to rough sex, she never gave him carte blanche to do whatever he wanted to her, and he should have sought her consent before engaging in each “rough” act. (It seems highly unlikely anyone, no matter what their kinks happen to be, would consent to having their skull fractured.)

“I agreed to have consensual sex; however, I did not agree or consent to what he did next,” the woman says. “I did not agree to be sexually assaulted.”

She claims that when Bauer began “putting his fingers down her throat in an aggressive manner,” she asked him to stop. “He stopped, but then without asking me or telling me in advance, he wrapped my hair around my neck and choked me,” she says in the report. “I lost consciousness.”

“I woke up face down on the bed, disoriented,” the woman wrote in the official declaration attached to the order. “I began realizing that he was having sex with me in my anus, which I never communicated that I wanted, nor did I consent.”

If these allegations are found to be true, it would follow that these are acts she never consented to. It should go without saying, but to be crystal clear about it, a person who is unconscious cannot consent to any sexual activity. That’s rape, and it’s something Bauer — and every man, for that matter — must understand.

The most chilling details in the report are the ones in which Bauer appears to have no idea why what he (allegedly) did was so traumatic and attempts to comfort the woman. After a second incident in which she claims he choked her until she was unconscious and she woke up to him punching her, The Athletic reports, “the woman said that when she regained consciousness, she was crying and shaking violently and that Bauer said to her repeatedly: ‘You’re safe. I’m here. You’re safe.’ He began scratching her back and whispered to her, ‘I would never do those things to you if it wasn’t sexually.’”

Is “I’m here” supposed to be comforting when coming from a man who has just assaulted you to the degree that you’ve lost consciousness against your will? The alleged lack of self-awareness is frightening. It’d almost be less disturbing if someone had simply attacked her in an alley somewhere in a more clear-cut case; the fact that, per her account, he can’t see why what he allegedly did was so wrong serves as a harrowing reminder to women that any consensual sexual encounter can quickly devolve into non-consensual trauma.

If the accused party’s characterization of Bauer’s behavior is accurate, it sounds as though Bauer eventually realized he was in the wrong; however, The Athletic notes that “the woman also provided text messages and screenshots of voicemails she said Bauer sent to her inquiring about her well being and checking in with her to see what he could do; in one message, Bauer offers to deliver groceries to her.” It’s impossible to say whether he was genuinely remorseful and concerned about her or just trying to cover his tracks and ensure she didn’t go public, but it would appear that at that point, he understood he crossed a line. Later, the woman recalls a phone call with the pitcher that was recorded by police in which she asks him what he did to her while she was unconscious.

“Bauer admitted to punching her in the buttocks repeatedly, but when she said that she did not consent to that and did not consider it a ‘free-for-all,’ Bauer then tried to change the conversation,” The Athletic writes.

No man wants to hear that he violated a woman. But it’s hard not to feel as though incidents like this might be avoided if we prioritized teaching boys and young men about consent and boundaries — both explicit and implicit — in sex education programs. If it can prevent even one woman from being assaulted in the manner described in the Bauer document, it’s well worth it.

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