Judge declares mistrial in Danny Masterson rape case
A judge declared a mistrial Wednesday in the Danny Masterson rape case after the jury was unable to reach a verdict.
The That ’70s Show star had pleaded not guilty to three counts of felony rape following accusations by three different women. The alleged attacks took place between 2001 and 2003.
On count 1, two jurors voted for guilty and 10 voted for not guilty. On count 2, four voted for guilty and eight for not guilty. Five voted for guilty and seven for not guilty on count 3.
The three alleged victims were members of the Church of Scientology, as was Masterson. All three women said they were initially hesitant to speak to law enforcement because they said church teachings discouraged reporting to police. The women eventually left the church.
One woman said the actor shoved a pillow into her face one evening in 2003. Another woman, who was dating Masterson in 2001, claimed he raped her while she was asleep.
Masterson, who was arrested in 2020, said each of the encounters was consensual. That ’70s Show was still on the air at the time of all three alleged rapes.
Masterson was facing 45 years to life in prison if convicted on all charges.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said it will now consider its “next steps as it relates to prosecuting this case.”
Two of the alleged victims are also involved in an ongoing civil case against Masterson and the Church of Scientology over the allegations.
“We are obviously disappointed that, at least for the time being, Daniel Masterson has evaded criminal accountability for his deplorable acts,” they said in a joint statement, adding that they are “collectively resolved to continue our fight for justice, including in civil court.”
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