Wednesday, a judge declared a mistrial in the Danny Masterson rape case, as the jury was unable to decide whether the actor was innocent or guilty.
During the five-week trial, jurors heard testimony from multiple alleged victims, including a lady who claimed she feared she was “about to die” in April 2003 when the former “That ’70s Show” star allegedly choked and raped her.
Masterson, 46, was charged with three counts of forcible rape for instances involving three accusers that occurred between 2001 and 2003.
Now, prosecutors must decide whether or not to retry Masterson.
Even though Scientology was not listed as a defendant in this case, the victims testified about the fear and isolation they experienced when reporting a senior member of the Church, such as Masterson.
The victims, who were Scientology members at the time of the occurrences, stated that their religious beliefs prevented them from considering the incidents to constitute rape.
Jen B., one of the women, said that when she attempted to denounce Masterson to other Church members, she was instructed to “stop blaming” Masterson because, according to Scientology, “You can never be a victim. Nothing ever occurs without your responsibility.”
Jen B. stated that she was unconscious and awoke to find Masterson on top of her with his penis in her vagina. She stated that she attempted to push the actor away, but he pulled her hair instead. Masterson placed his hand around her throat at some time.
Jen B. stated that she believed she was going to die. That he intended to murder me.”
Jen B. also testified that following the incident, she was offered the option of signing a $400,000 non-disclosure agreement or being excommunicated from Scientology, her family, and her friends.
Chrissie B., an additional accuser and actor’s ex-girlfriend, told jurors she met Masterson at a party in 1996 when she was 18 years old. Chrissie B. stated that Masterson became emotionally and sexually abusive approximately one year into their relationship.
She claimed Masterson had sexually assaulted her twice in their Hollywood Hills home in 2011. Chrissie B. stated that she awoke during one of the occurrences to Masterson’s full weight on top of her. Chrissie B. claimed Masterson continued to rape her despite her screams and protests.
She also stated that Masterson would urinate on her while she was in the shower, which he found amusing.
Chrissie also claimed that after a long journey from Paris, when she declined to have sex with the actor, he dragged her across the floor by her hair. She also said Masterson struck her once and told her she was “out-ethics… I was a potential trouble source,” a Scientology term for a person who caused trouble.
Masterson did not testify at the proceeding.
According to Variety, in his closing argument, defense attorney Philip Cohen referred to the accusers’ statements as “contradictions and fabrications” and stated that Scientology was cited more than 700 times during the trial.
Cohen stated to the jury, “We’ve heard Scientology so much that it’s become the default justification.” “When someone could not recall something or was refuted, it became a Scientology issue.”