Judge declares mistrial in Danny Masterson rape case with jury

A judge declared a mistrial on Wednesday after jurors said hopelessly deadlocked At the trial of “That ’70s Show” actor Danny Masterson, who was accused of three counts of rape.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlene F. Olmedo ordered jurors to take the Thanksgiving week off and told her on November 18 that they could not come to a consensus. rape charges A month-long trial followed in which the Church of Scientology played a supporting role.

Masterson, 46, was accused of raping three women, including an ex-girlfriend, between 2001 and 2003 at his Hollywood Hills home. and his lawyer Said acts were all consensual. All three women were church members at the time, and Masterson is the only one.

Judge Charlene Olmedo declared after questioning, “I think the jurors are hopelessly deadlocked, was there anything that the court could do to move them any closer to reaching a unanimous decision.” He again set a March date for the trial.

Jurors said they voted seven times on Tuesday and Wednesday, but could not agree on any of the three.

The jury foreman stated that only two jurors voted for conviction on the first count, four voted for conviction on the second count, and five voted for conviction on the third count.

sexual misconduct danny masterson
In this Sept. 18, 2020, file photo, actor Danny Masterson appears at his arraignment in Los Angeles Superior Court in Los Angeles.

Lucy Nicholson / AP

Jurors were forced to start deliberations from scratch on Monday when two had to be dismissed because they came down with COVID-19. They deliberated for two days but still could not reach a decision.

The result was a serious blow to prosecutors, and to the three women who they said had been seeking justice for a long time. In a public statement, the two plaintiffs said they were “expressly disappointed” that Masterson “has, for the time being, avoided criminal accountability for his reprehensible acts.”

“However, we are collectively determined to continue our fight for justice, including in civil court, where we allege that Mr. Masterson, along with the Church of Scientology, its leader David Miscavige, and others, systematically stalked, harassed and intimidated us as we tried to shed light on Mr Masterson’s actions,” the statement continued. “This legal battle is not over, and it is important that we consider Scientology’s alleged role in covering up reports of abuse and bullying of victims.”

The proceedings come amid a flurry of cases including #MeToo connotations on both coasts Harvey Weinstein’s LA trial Right down the hall from Masterson. in New York, kevin spacey won a sexual misconduct lawsuit in New York brought by actor Anthony Rapp, and a jury ordered Director and screenwriter Paul Haggis must pay $10 million in a civil case there.

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