Taylor Swift is currently embroiled in a legal battle over a 2013 incident involving a radio DJ groping her during a meet-and-greet in Denver.
People reports that Swift can claim a small victory in the trial, as the judge in the case sanctioned David "Jackson" Mueller, which will allow Swift's lawyers to question some of his suspicious actions.
According to the Denver Post, Mueller sued Swift, stating that her claims were false after she accused him of lifting her skirt and groping her. He was subsequently fired from his job at the radio station, but not before he destroyed "multiple electronic devices" that could be used as evidence in the case. Among the items were "a cellular phone, laptop, iPad, and computer." The electronic devices may have contained a two-hour recording Mueller made with his boss, Robert Call, before he was terminated, which is what had Swift's legal team calling for the sanction.
The Post adds that the recordings contained Mueller discussing changes to his story with his boss. "Call explained that one reason for Plaintiff's termination was because Call perceived Plaintiff had 'changed his story that it couldn’t have occurred, then that it was incidental,'" U.S. District Judge William Martinez wrote in a statement.
Mueller claimed that he had spilled coffee on his laptop and his lawyer backed up the statement by revealing that his client had a long history of destroying electronic devices. The judge saw the destroyed evidence as reason enough to sanction Mueller, since it could have helped him prove his claims, not hurt his case.
"He made the decision — inexplicably, in the court's view — to alter the original evidence and to present his lawyer with only 'clips' hand-picked from the underlying evidence," Martinez wrote.
The sanction will allow attorneys to bring up the electronics during the trial, which is set to take place in August. However, Judge Martinez forbade the lawyers from brining up the sanction before the jury. They can mention the fact that Mueller destroyed the devices and bring into question his motives for doing so.