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Doe v. Cabrera

United States District Court, District of Columbia

September 10, 2014

JANE DOE, Plaintiff,
v.
ALFREDO SIMON CABRERA, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

REGGIE B. WALTON, District Judge.

The plaintiff filed this civil action, using the pseudonym Jane Doe, against the defendant, Alfredo Simon Cabrera, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, for alleged: (1) assault; (2) battery; and (3) intentional infliction of emotional distress. Complaint ("Compl.") at 1. The case was subsequently removed to this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b) (2012). Notice of Removal of Action Under 28 U.S.C. § 1441(b), ECF No. 1, at 1-2. Currently before the Court is Alfredo Simon Cabrera's Motion To Preclude [The] Plaintiff From Using A Pseudonym ("Def.'s Mot."). On August 19, 2014, the Court heard oral argument on the merits of the defendant's motion. Upon careful consideration of the parties' submissions, [1] as well as their oral arguments, the Court concludes for the reasons below that the defendant's motion must be granted in part and denied in part.[2]

I. BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background

The plaintiff asserts the following in her complaint. In April 2013, the plaintiff, Jane Doe, was a 27-year old woman, who resided in the District of Columbia. See Compl. ¶ 7. The defendant, Alfredo Simon Cabrera, is a professional baseball player for the Cincinnati Reds major league baseball team. Id . ¶ 6. On April 25, 2013, the defendant visited the District of Columbia as a member of the Cincinnati Reds to participate in several baseball games against the Washington Nationals major league baseball team. See id.

"On the night of April 27, 2013, [the plaintiff] went to the Huxley nightclub... with her roommate and her friends." Compl. ¶ 8. While at the nightclub, she met the defendant. See id. ¶ 9. The defendant "bought [the plaintiff] drinks" and eventually "grabbed [the plaintiff]'s hand" and told her they were leaving the nightclub together. Id . ¶¶ 10, 11. The "[d]efendant hailed a taxi [that took the two of them] to the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, " where the Cincinnati Reds players were staying while in Washington. Id . ¶ 11. "At that point, [the plaintiff] was visibly intoxicated." Id . "Around 2:30 a.m., [the plaintiff] entered [the] [d]efendant's [hotel] room, where he began to kiss her." Id . ¶ 12. Then, the following events transpired according to the plaintiff:

[The] [d]efendant abruptly changed his behavior from a romantic encounter into a terrifying physical attack. As soon as [the] [d]efendant started to get rough with her, [the plaintiff] told him to stop. [The] [d]efendant ignored that plea, pinning [the plaintiff] down on her stomach while she struggled and continued to demand [the] [d]efendant stop and get off of her. [The] [d]efendant then grabbed her by the hair and attempted unsuccessfully and repeatedly to force his penis (without a condom) into her vagina, causing [the] [p]laintiff to be in immediate searing pain.
Unable to penetrate her vagina, [the] [d]efendant shoved his penis (without a condom) into her rectum, causing [the] [p]laintiff to cry out in unbearable physical pain as he continued to rape her anally. Despite the fact that [the] [p]laintiff was crying and she was now bleeding from her vagina and anus, [the] [d]efendant proceeded to grab [the plaintiff] by the hair and to hold her head in front of his penis until he ejaculated all over her face and hair.

Id. ¶ 12. "Crying, disheveled and in fear for her safety, [the plaintiff] fled [the] [d]efendant's [hotel] room and took a taxi back to [the] Huxley" nightclub to "seek help from her roommate." Id . ¶ 14. The plaintiff "continued to experience extreme physical pain and bleeding" from her genitalia, id., and "[l]ater that morning, [the plaintiff] went to the Washington Hospital Center for a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE')[, ]" which revealed several injuries to her genitalia, id. ¶ 15.

B. The Defendant's Motion

The plaintiff filed a complaint against the defendant on April 24, 2014 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, contemporaneously moving to proceed under a pseudonym and to have her name and address be sealed in an affidavit that accompanied the filing of the complaint. Compl. at 1; id. at 1 n.1; Def.'s Mem., Exhibit ("Ex.") 1 (The Plaintiff's Motion For Leave To Proceed Under A Pseudonym And Memorandum of Points And Authorities In Support Thereof Filed In Superior Court Of The District Of Columbia ("Pl.'s Superior Court Mot.")); id. Ex. 2 (The Plaintiff's Motion For Sealing The Plaintiff's Address Filed In Superior Court Of The District Of Columbia ("Pl.'s Superior Court Mot. to Seal")). Those motions were granted.[3] See Def.'s Mem., Ex. 3 (Superior Court Order).

Notwithstanding the plaintiff's desire to proceed anonymously in her lawsuit against the defendant, the plaintiff-through counsel-released a public statement about the alleged encounter with the defendant after the complaint was filed.[4] E.g., Def.'s Mem., Ex. 4 (Statement on www.WBALTV.com) at 1. The statement read as follows:

The public may know me as Jane Doe, but I have a name, a face and a family. I am as human as the next person. When I moved to DC for my job I really wanted to help people. I always felt so fortunate to have the family I did and especially my education. I wanted to make a difference. Being a counselor for at-risk youth was hard but there was nothing more fulfilling than helping someone to become the person they were mean[t] to be. But I never went back to that job after April 27, 2013. I sometimes feel like this man stole my sense of purpose in life. I am in therapy now trying to work through the pain, but I am still angry. While the physical injuries have healed, I will never be the same.

Id. This statement, as well as other statements by the plaintiff's counsel, was published by a number of media outlets. E.g., id., Ex. 5 (Statement in USA Today Sports) at 1; id., Ex. 6 (Statement on www.Fox19.com); see also id., Ex. 7 (Statement on www.cbsports.com) at 2 ("[The plaintiff] knows this is going to be an incredibly traumatic event. It already has been.... You would never subject yourself to that had it not been for a real concern for the potential for this happening to other people."); id., Ex. 8 (Statement on www.wjla.com) at 1 ("This was a very brutal attack.... It was very traumatic for her."); id., Ex. 9 (Statement on www.abc2news.com) at 2 ("What she thought was going to be a romantic evening turned into a violent and brutal attack[.]... There was forensic evidence that demonstrated injuries that are just inconsistent with the notion of consent[.]... You do not consent to the type of injuries that are demonstrated in the medical records here." (internal ...


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