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Actor Danny Masterson found guilty of raping two women in retrial: Here What We Have!

The case gained widespread attention due to allegations that the Church of Scientology attempted to dissuade his accusers.

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Danny Masterson: Danny Masterson, best known for his role in the 1970s sitcom “That ’70s Show,” was found guilty of raping two women by a Los Angeles jury on Wednesday. The case gained widespread attention due to allegations that the Church of Scientology attempted to dissuade his accusers.

Masterson was accused of raping a third woman, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

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In November, a jury deadlocked on all three offences, resulting in a mistrial, which led to the muddled verdict. Jurors deliberated for more than a week before finding him guilty of two counts of rape by force or terror.

Masterson, age 47, was arrested following the verdict. On August 4, he will be sentenced to between 30 years and life in state prison, according to the district attorney’s office.

Prosecutors alleged that Masterson, who portrayed Steven Hyde on “That ’70s Show” from 1998 to 2006, raped three women in his Hollywood Hills residence between 2001 and 2003. In 2020, he was charged and pled not guilty. A spokesperson for Masterson’s legal team stated that the attorneys had no immediate comment on Wednesday’s verdict.

According to court documents, two of the women accuse Masterson and the Church of Scientology, to which they and Masterson adhered, of discouraging them from reporting the assaults. The church has categorically refuted pressuring victims.

Although both trials centred on the same allegations, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo permitted prosecutors to inform jurors explicitly in the second trial that Masterson had drugged his three accusers, according to The Associated Press.

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Actor Danny Masterson found guilty of raping two women in retrial

In the first trial, prosecutors only hinted at the possibility of drug use by presenting testimony that the women felt disoriented and bewildered after Masterson gave them intoxicating beverages.

Masterson’s attorney, Philip Cohen, argued that the women’s accounts were inconsistent and that there was no physical evidence of drugging and “no evidence of force or violence,” as reported by The Associated Press.

“I am experiencing a complex array of emotions — relief, exhaustion, strength, and sadness — knowing that my abuser, Danny Masterson, will face accountability for his criminal behaviour,” one of Masterson’s accusers, identified in court documents only as N. Trout, said in a statement released by a public relations firm representing her lawyers in a lawsuit against Masterson and the Church of Scientology.

Another accuser, identified only as Christina B. in court documents, stated in the same statement that she was “devastated” by the jury’s inability to reach a verdict on the 2001 rape charge against Masterson.

“Despite my disappointment in this verdict, I remain committed to obtaining justice, including in civil court, where my co-plaintiffs and I will expose how Scientology and other conspirators enabled and attempted to cover up Masterson’s monstrous behaviour,” she said.

Christina B. reported the rape to the church’s “ethics officer” or “master of arms,” who told her, “You can’t rape someone you’re in a relationship with” and “Don’t say that word again.”

Masterson allegedly assaulted a third woman, Jen B., in April 2003 after giving her a red vodka cocktail, according to the brief. Approximately 20 to 30 minutes later, she felt “very disoriented,” according to the report.

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What the After Assumptions

After requesting permission to report the rape, Jen B. received a letter from the church’s international chief justice citing a 1965 policy letter regarding “suppressive acts,” according to the brief.

The response indicated to her that if she reported a fellow Scientologist to the police, “I would be declared a suppressive person, and I would be kicked out of my family, friends, and everything I have,” according to the brief. Nonetheless, she reported the incident to law enforcement in June 2004, according to the document.

The brief states that N. Trout told her mother and closest friend about the incident, but not the church.

According to the brief, she stated, “If you have a legal dispute with another church member, you may not handle it outside the church.” She added that she “felt sufficiently intimidated by the repercussions.”

In a statement released after the verdict, the church asserted, “There is not a shred of evidence to support the scandalous claims that the church harassed the accusers.” The statement accused prosecutors of focusing the case on Masterson’s religion and promoting church-related fabrications “to introduce prejudice and inflame bigotry.”

According to the statement, the church has no policy prohibiting or discouraging members from reporting illicit behaviour of anyone, Scientologists or not, to law enforcement. “Quite the contrary. Church policy requires Scientologists to comply with all local laws.

Eric Joseph Gomes
Eric Joseph Gomes
Seasoned professional blog writer with a passion for delivering high-quality content that informs, educates, and engages readers.

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