Police say criminal investigation of Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer 'bigger than we thought'

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LOS ANGELES — Hours before Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer was placed on seven-day administrative leave by Major League Baseball, a lieutenant with the Pasadena Police Department said the investigation into allegations that Bauer assaulted a 27-year-old woman during two sexual encounters is “bigger than we thought.''

“We were looking into some things and we thought we were nearing the end,’’ Lt. Carolyn Gordon, who is overseeing the investigation, told USA TODAY Sports Friday. "We are not close to the end.

"This investigation is bigger than we thought. So we have to look a few more places. We want to try to uncover as much stuff as we can.''

Gordon said the police department has received new leads in the investigation that began about six weeks ago.

“I’m not going to reveal any of the information we’ve received," she said. “We have some things to look into. Some things have been uncovered and we want to continue our investigation."

The woman who says Bauer sexual assaulted her decided this week that she did not want to wait any longer on the criminal investigation and filed for a domestic violence restraining order on Tuesday. The temporary restraining order – known as an ex parte order – was granted shortly thereafter, with a hearing scheduled for July 23, at which point Bauer can formally dispute the allegations, which he has publicly denied through his agent.

“I am deeply concerned that no arrest has been made or charges filed,’’ the 27-year-old woman stated in a copy of the document obtained by USA TODAY Sports.

Bauer before a game in May.
Bauer before a game in May.

USA TODAY Sports' policy is to not identify individuals who allege sexual crimes without their permission.

Four legal experts told USA TODAY Sports that the pace of the investigation likely has been impacted by Bauer’s high profile. He is the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner who in February signed a three-year, $102 million contact with the Dodgers.

“If he weren’t Trevor Bauer, he’d be arrested already,’’ said Matthew Galluzzo, a former New York prosecutor who worked in sex crimes unit of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

Galluzzo, now a criminal defense attorney who represents victims of sex crimes, cited graphic photos that the woman said show injuries Bauer inflicted on her amount to “probable cause." The woman included the photos in her request for a temporary restraining order, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

“What’s striking to me is photos of her in that complaint with black eyes, and she says that (Bauer) hit her,’’ Galluzzo said. “I’m not sure why this is so complicated for the police. Normally speaking, if a woman has black eyes and says somebody hit her, there’s going to be an arrest.

“You wouldn’t normally expect there to be a long delay in making an arrest with these facts, honestly. To me it seems like he’s getting special treatment.’’

Attempts to get a comment from Jon Fetterolf, who is Bauer's agent and a white-collar criminal defense attorney, on Friday were unsuccessful. But earlier in the week, he issued a statement addressing the allegations.

"Mr. Bauer had a brief and wholly consensual sexual relationship initiated by (the woman) beginning in April 2021," Fetterolf said in a statement. “We have messages that show (the woman) repeatedly asking for 'rough' sexual encounters involving requests to be 'choked out' and slapped in the face."

Gordon, the lieutenant with Pasadena Police Department, said she disagrees that Bauer’s celebrity has impacted the investigation.

“I think we’ve dealt with this investigation as we would any investigation,’’ she said. “There are facts that have come up in this investigation that we have to look into and that we’re willing to look into because we have to do our due diligence as investigators and that’s what we plan to do.

“So whether he’s a celebrity or not, there are certain things we have to look into and we want to complete our investigation. We don’t want to turn a case over to the district attorney and not complete an investigation.’’

Ambrosio Rodriguez, a former deputy district attorney in Los Angeles, said the district attorney's office will proceed cautiously.

“Criminal justice is always local," he said, “and the L.A. DA’s office has been burned more than once when arresting a celebrity.’’

In particular, Rodriguez said, O.J. Simpson being found not guilty in 1995 of the murders Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman continues to affect investigations and criminal cases involving other celebrities.

“That scar hasn’t healed,’’ Rodriguez said. “They are very careful about whether or not to arrest a celebrity without having all their ducks in a row.’’

On May 21, days after contacting the Pasadena Police Department about her allegations, the woman met with detectives, according to her court filing.

She said she participated in a “cold call,’’ attempting to get Bauer to confess to the alleged crimes as detectives from the Pasadena Police Department recorded the phone call, according to the court filing. The woman said Bauer acknowledged only that he punched her repeatedly in the buttocks when she was unconscious.

Laurie Levenson, a professor of criminal law at Loyola Law School of Loyola Marymount (Calif.) University, said celebrity “complicates it a little bit because I think prosecutors try to be extra careful.’’

“They look carefully at every aspect of the case whether they’re going to charge or not, because they know that it’s going to be under a microscope,’’ Levenson added. “It doesn’t mean that they won’t charge him, but they’re going to talk to the witnesses and do a thorough investigation because they know that others will be looking at it.’’

Dmitry Gorin, a former senior deputy district attorney in Los Angeles who is now a criminal defense attorney, said any investigation against a high-profile figure typically takes more time.

“And when you had the forces and dynamics of the pandemic happening and other cases being ahead of this one in terms of when they came to the police department investigation chain, it doesn’t surprise me at all,’’ he said of the pace of the investigation. “And it’s consistent with what I’ve seen from my own clients that they get arrested under investigation and we don't get a decision for six months. So it’s consistent with what I’ve seen in the criminal justice system right now.’’

Ambrosio, the former deputy district attorney in Los Angeles, said the woman filing for a restraining order could change the pace of the investigation.

“That she went public like this and the way that she did will have an effect on the investigation, and I don't know whether that will be to what she wants or not,'' he said. "It’s too early to know.''

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trevor Bauer assault investigation 'bigger than we thought,' police say