The DJ accused of groping Taylor Swift will be questioned in court over key evidence he lost on damaged electronic devices.
David 'Jackson' Mueller sued Swift, 27, in September 2015 claiming he lost his job at Denver radio station KYGO because the music superstar falsely accused him of groping her and lifting up her skirt while backstage at a 2013 concert. He is seeking $3 million in damages.
The Shake It Off singer responded by filing a countersuit accusing him of sexual assault and battery.
On Wednesday (19Jul17) U.S. District Judge William Martinez chastised Mueller for losing key evidence kept on several electronic devices, according to court documents obtained by the Denver Post.
The judge ruled that the former radio DJ can be questioned by Swift's lawyers on the missing evidence, which included a two hour audio recording Mueller taped during a conversation with his boss Robert Call the day before he was fired in June 2013.
According to Judge Martinez' 16 page ruling the ex-DJ had recorded the conversation on his mobile phone and transferred it to a laptop computer. He passed on snippets to his attorney, but admitted he had accidentally lost the original recording as he had destroyed or lost four electronic devices.
Judge Martinez wrote that he did not believe Mueller destroyed the devices in "bad faith" and did not rule the edited recordings inadmissible, but insisted he can be questioned about the loss of the recording as it is critical evidence in the case.
Call claims he fired Mueller after he changed his story when he was confronted about Swift's allegation he assaulted her, at first denying the assault could have occurred then claiming any contact was incidental.
Acknowledging that the recording would have been important evidence in the case, Mueller explained that the devices were no longer available as evidence for a variety of reasons, including that he had spilled coffee on the laptop.
The judge chastised the former radio host for losing the full recording, writing that it was inexplicable that the ex-DJ had been so careless with evidence that could have helped him prove his version events was true.
A trial date has been set for next month (Aug17).