Danny Masterson found responsible of rape, faces 30 years in prison

A Los Angeles jury has convicted American actor Danny Masterson on two counts of rape, with the That ’70s Show star probably dealing with as a lot as 30 years in jail. The actor was led from the courtroom in handcuffs after the decision. Three girls, all former Church of Scientology members, accused Masterson of sexually assaulting them at his Hollywood residence between 2001 and 2003. Prosecutors claimed that the actor used his distinguished place throughout the Church of Scientology to evade responsibility.
The jury, consisting of seven ladies and 5 men, could not attain a unanimous decision on the third rely, resulting in a deadlock of 8-4 after per week of deliberations. In December 2022, a previous jury was unable to agree on a verdict, resulting in a retrial during which new proof was permitted.
Although Masterson was not charged with drugging the victims, the jury heard testimony that the ladies had been given drugs earlier than the assaults occurred. Bonus was first accused of rape in 2017, in the course of the height of the #MeToo motion. At the time, he said that he had not been charged or convicted, and that it appeared as if one was “presumed responsible the second you might be accused” within the present climate.
The verdict adopted a three-year investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department. Two different instances weren’t pursued due to inadequate evidence and the expiration of the statute of limitations. Throughout the trial, it was argued that the Church of Scientology had assisted in concealing the assaults, a declare the organisation vehemently denies. At the time of the incidents, both Masterson and his accusers had been members of the church.
Several ladies claimed that they’d been discouraged from reporting the assaults to the police by Church of Scientology officials, which is why it took them years to come forward. According to prosecutors, one survivor was told she would be expelled from the church except she signed a non-disclosure settlement and accepted a fee of US$400,000 (£320,000). Judge Charlaine Olmedo allowed each events to debate the beliefs and practices of Scientology during the trial.
Deputy District Attorney Ariel Anson advised jurors, “The church taught his victims, ‘Rape isn’t rape, you caused this, and above all, you’re by no means allowed to go to law enforcement.’” The defence attempted to discredit the Jane Does by highlighting inconsistencies of their testimonies and their alleged desire for “revenge” towards the church. Masterson’s defence lawyer argued throughout closing statements, “If you’re on the lookout for motives why persons are not being truthful… there are motives everywhere.”

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