Taylor Swift won a pre-trial victory against a DJ who allegedly groped her

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  • Step one in a long legal battle

    Words by Karen Mizoguchi

    From the editors of PEOPLE

    Taylor Swift and her legal team scored a small victory in their legal battle with David Mueller, a former Denver radio host who allegedly groped the singer during a 2013 meet-and-greet.

    On Wednesday, a federal judge sanctioned Mueller for destroying multiple electronic devices containing key evidence in the case, according to the Denver Post.

    Mueller sued Swift in September 2015 claiming the pop star cost him his job after the Grammy winner claimed he groped her during a meet-and-greet session. In court documents, Mueller admitted Swift had been groped but blamed his ‘superior’ at KYGO, Eddie Haskell.

    U.S. District Judge William Martinez has allowed Swift’s attorneys to question Mueller about a two-hour audio recording he taped during an interview with his boss Robert Call, the day before he was fired. In the latest court papers obtained by The Post, Mueller admitted to destroying or losing four electronic devices, including a cellular phone, laptop, iPad and computer.

    Mueller gave multiple reasons behind his actions, specifically that he spilled coffee on his laptop’s keyboard.

    ‘It was fried,’ Mueller said.

    Martinez believes the recording is critical evidence due to Call’s claims that Mueller changed his story when he confronted him about Swift’s claim that he assaulted her. Call said that was one of the factors in his decision to fire Mueller in June 2013.

    According to court documents from Swift’s October 2015 countersuit previously obtained by PEOPLE, Mueller and his girlfriend were participating in a meet-and-greet in 2013 with Swift when he ‘intentionally reached under her skirt, and groped with his hand an intimate part of her body in an inappropriate manner, against her will, and without her permission.’

    After the alleged incident, Swift was ‘surprised, upset, offended, and alarmed’ and informed her photographer, tour manager, and security team, according to the papers.

    A trial date has been set for early August.

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