Danny Masterson Tells Judge To Throw Out Rape Case

Danny Masterson has asked for a full dismissal of his rape case, as the initial trial ended in a mistrial.

By Britta DeVore | Published

Danny Masterson The Ranch

While his old That ‘70s Show co-stars may be gearing up to continue their story when Netflix releases That ‘90s Show later this month, Danny Masterson is fighting with the California legal system in an attempt to get his rape case dismissed. After a Los Angeles jury was unable to make a unanimous decision on the actor’s case, L.A. County Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo declared a mistrial back in late November. But now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Masterson is asking that the judge use her discretion and fully dismiss the charges against him before the case can head back to court, claiming that it’s more than likely that another jury would come to the same hung decision.

While defendants aren’t allowed to make a motion for a full dismissal, Danny Masterson’s lawyer, Philip Kent Cohen, said that his client was using his right to ask the court to “exercise its discretion.” This motion typically happens when a case has ended in a mistrial and the upcoming retrial will not bring any new evidence to the table. Cohen is certain that without any new material, a fresh set of jurors would “likely” acquit his defendant or land another mixed ruling.

Danny Masterson

The charges filed against Danny Masterson included the rape of three women from 2001 to 2003. The actor fought the charges in a California courtroom, pleading not guilty to each with the jury leaning towards an acquittal on every claim. In the end, the jury wouldn’t be able to solidify a unanimous vote, ruling 10 to two, eight to four, and seven to five in each case, respectively.

In his notes this week, Cohen wrote that the prosecution didn’t do their job of preparing a strong enough case with the jury questioning much of the evidence brought forth. He wrote that there were “significant evidentiary and credibility problems” that ended in the hung jury, something that he doesn’t believe would be fixed by giving Danny Masterson’s case a retrial. He continued by saying that he doesn’t think that any “reasonable jury” would be able to find his defendant unanimously guilty on any of the counts. 

Danny Masterson is best known for his portrayal of Steven Hyde on That ‘70s Show. The series, which bowed out nearly two decades ago, will be getting a reboot via Netflix in the form of a follow-up titled That ‘90s Show. Bringing audiences back to where it all started, the series hits the streaming service on January 19.

That ‘90s Show will follow the story of Eric Forman (Topher Grace) and Donna Pinciotti’s (Laura Prepon) daughter Leia Forman (Callie Haverda) as she travels to Point Place, Wisconsin to live with her grandparents Red (Kurtwood Smith) and Kitty Forman (Debra Jo Rupp) for the summer. It’s there that she’ll meet a crew of local kids who she’ll hang out with during her summer break. The original gang, save for Danny Masterson, is all back with Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, and Wilmer Valderrama joining Topher Grace and Laura Prepon along with other familiar faces including Don Stark and Tommy Chong reprising their roles.