Danny Masterson attorney asks for trial hold to focus on Trevor Bauer appeal
With the appeal of Trevor Bauer’s suspension now expected to extend beyond the end of the World Series, one of his attorneys has asked a Los Angeles court to put a rape trial on hold so she can conclude her work on behalf of the Dodgers pitcher.
Actor Danny Masterson, best known for his work on “That ‘70s Show,” was charged in 2020 with three counts of rape. He has pleaded not guilty, and the trial is set to start Oct. 11.
Shawn Holley, who is representing Masterson and Bauer, has asked Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo to delay the start of the trial until January. Holley said the district attorney’s office did not object to the delay.
But one of the alleged victims is objecting in a statement issued through her lawyer, Nina Hawkinson.
“My life has been tortured for so many years as a result of what happened to me,” said the woman, identified as “Jane Doe 1” in the case. “Finally, the day of justice was coming and now I see there is another excuse to delay justice, which will only cause greater damage to me and the other victims.
“I hope the Court sees that the matters in this trial, the rights of the victims, and the need for finality of this important matter trump a scheduling conflict related to baseball.”
The appeal of Bauer’s suspension started May 23 and now is expected to last until November, Holley told the court. The appeal is heard intermittently, but Holley said she is “working full-time” on proceedings that she said involve “voluminous” evidence and could include as many as 22 witnesses, only four of whom have completed testimony before an independent arbitrator.
In April, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred suspended Bauer for two years because he violated baseball’s policy on sexual assault and domestic violence. Under the policy, negotiated between the league and the players’ union, Manfred is empowered to suspend a player even if he is not charged with a crime.
Bauer has not been charged, and he has maintained he did not violate the policy. In accordance with the player confidentiality promised under the policy, Manfred has not said what Bauer did to warrant the suspension.
Bauer is the first player suspended under the policy to appeal, the first to be suspended more than one year, and the first with whom more than one alleged victim has been publicly identified.
The league’s investigation started when a San Diego woman accused him of sexual assault; two other women have told the Washington Post of similar interactions with Bauer and have spoken with league investigators.
Bauer has sued the San Diego woman for defamation, claiming she lied about her sexual encounters with him to destroy his reputation and career while enriching herself. In response, the woman said those allegations were “false, fabricated, or bogus.”
In 2021, Bauer signed a three-year, $102-million contract with the Dodgers. If the suspension is upheld in its entirety, Bauer would forfeit about $60 million.
A hearing on whether to delay the rape trial is scheduled for Aug. 17.
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