Judge Drops Complaint Aimed at Taylor Swift in Groping Case Brought by DJ – New York Times

Ms. Swift said Mr. Mueller had lifted her skirt and grabbed her rear while posing with her for a preconcert photo session in 2013. Lawyers for the defendants have said that Andrea Swift and Mr. Bell acted properly to protect Ms. Swift as well as other young women who might face a similar situation.

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Shannon Melcher, a former girlfriend of David Mueller, a Denver radio host who Taylor Swift says groped her at a 2013 photo shoot, at federal court in Denver on Friday.

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David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Mr. Mueller was fired a day after the incident, about six months into his two-year contract, but did not file suit until 2015. Ms. Swift then countersued, accusing Mr. Mueller of assault and battery. The cases were heard together and Ms. Swift’s countersuit against Mr. Mueller will move forward.

The eight jurors had been sent home hours before Judge Martínez released his ruling on Friday evening. He told the six women and two men not to discuss or research the case over the weekend and to return Monday to hear closing arguments from the two sides and receive instructions from him before starting to decide the case, which is now sharply curtailed.

Ms. Swift’s legal team said on Friday that it planned to call no witnesses and would rely instead on the previous testimony of witnesses called by Mr. Mueller’s lawyer, including Ms. Swift.

In arguments made out of the jurors’ hearing, Mr. Mueller’s lawyer Gabriel McFarland insisted to the judge that his client had not groped Ms. Swift, but acknowledged that he had presented no evidence that the star made up charges she did not believe.

“To be candid,” he said, “I don’t think there is evidence that she didn’t believe Mr. Mueller inappropriately touched her.”

Ms. Swift’s lawyer, Douglas Baldridge, had asked the judge to dismiss the case against all three defendants.

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Greg Dent, former security guard for pop singer Taylor Swift, emerges from the federal courthouse after testifying Friday in the civil trial in which the pop singer was accused of falsely claiming a radio host had groped her.



Credit
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

During her testimony Thursday, Ms. Swift was firm in her depiction of Mr. Mueller’s behavior.

“He did not touch my ribs,” she said, referring to comments Mr. Mueller made during his testimony earlier in the week about the possibility he had inadvertently touched her in a way she found inappropriate. “He did not touch my arm. He did not touch my hand. He grabbed my bare ass.”

She also depicted Mr. Mueller as trying to evade responsibility for his actions.

“I’m being blamed for the unfortunate events of his life that are a product of his decisions. Not mine,” Ms. Swift said, testifying with striking confidence and flashes of irritation and humor during an hour on the stand.

On Friday, Mr. Mueller’s former girlfriend, who had been with him at the photo session at Denver’s Pepsi Center, testified that she had never seen him touch a woman inappropriately.

Shannon Melcher, who had been dating Mr. Mueller a few months at the time, accompanied him to briefly meet the singer and pose for a photo with her before the concert. Ms. Melcher, who said she and Mr. Mueller remain friends, said she did not see him touch Ms. Swift inappropriately, but acknowledged she was not in a position to have seen what might have happened.

“I was facing forward,” she said. “I do not have eyes in the back of my head.”

Mr. Mueller testified earlier that he may have made inadvertent contact with Ms. Swift in his haste to get into position for the photograph. But Ms. Swift had testified that the groping had been prolonged and intentional.

Ms Swift’s bodyguard at the time, Greg Dent, also testified Friday and said he saw Mr. Mueller lift her skirt and put his hand underneath.

“I know I saw it,” Mr. Dent said.

Mr. Dent said that while what he saw was “a violation of her body,” he did not see the situation as dangerous and did not move to interrupt the photo session. Ms. Swift has said she did not immediately react, in part out of surprise and in part because she did not want to ruin the evening for her fans, so she kept posing for photographs with others for a few minutes. Once the meet-and-greet was over, she reported being groped and her security team found Mr. Mueller and Ms. Melcher and escorted them from the Pepsi Center grounds.


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