That 70’s Show Star Danny Masterson’s Rape Trial Has Been Put On Hold
The rape trial involving That 70's Show star Danny Masterson has been put on hold as the jury has become deadlocked on the verdict.
This past Friday, the jury serving on Danny Masterson’s rape trial informed the judge that they could not reach a verdict. Reporting from Variety states that the jurors are unable to reach a unanimous decision on any of the three charges against Masterson. The presiding judge, Judge Charlaine Olmedo, ordered the jury to resume deliberations after Thanksgiving on November 28th, stating that the jury has not had enough time to reasonably declare a mistrial.
Danny Masterson’s trial started three weeks ago with the That 70’s Show star being charged with three counts of forcible rape stemming from 2000-2003. The LA County District Attorney presented a case centered on Masterson, flush with success from being on a hit show and a rising star in Scientology, forcing himself upon three women in his Los Angeles home. Masterson’s defense team presented a counter-argument that all of the sex was consensual.
With the result being a “She Said/He Said” criminal case, jaded observers cannot be faulted for their complete lack of surprise over the outcome. Danny Masterson, currently out on $3.3 million bail until the conclusion of the trial, has already seen his once-bright Hollywood career dimmed over the criminal charges. Though the accused crimes took place between the years 2000 and 2003, it was nearly 15 years later that Masterson suffered consequences when the past accusations came to light.
In 2017, three women got together and officially filed charges of rape against Danny Masterson. Soon after, Netflix removed the actor from the streaming series The Ranch, also starring Ashton Kutcher, a That 70’s Show co-star of Masterson. Kutcher and his wife, Mila Kunis, another old That 70’s Show co-star, distanced themselves from the embattled actor.
Leah Remini, a former Scientologist, dedicated an episode of her show Aftermath to the Danny Masterson rape accusations. The episode was delayed due to one of the women accusing Masterson of allegedly receiving pressure from the Church of Scientology. In 2019, four women filed a lawsuit against the Church of Scientology citing harassment and stalking.
The Church of Scientology petitioned the Supreme Court to stop the lawsuit from proceeding but was denied. Each of the plaintiffs accusing Masterson are ex-Scientology members and other famous former members of the Church, including Lisa Marie Presley, were once slated to testify for the prosecution. Danny Masterson’s ties to the Church of Scientology, and the protections granted to him by the organization, have been a major focal point of the ongoing trial.
In total, the three charges against Danny Masterson each carry a maximum sentence of 15 years, with a total sentence of 45 years not out of the question if the actor is found guilty. Masterson pleaded not guilty to all three charges, but every attempt made by his legal team to have the charges thrown out or get a mistrial declared has been denied by the court. During the month-long trial, the accused star did not take the stand or provide testimony in his defense.