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Danny Masterson found guilty of rape

The “That ’70s Show” star was charged with raping three women more than two decades ago and was found guilty of two of those counts.
/ Source: TODAY

“That ’70s Show” star Danny Masterson was convicted on two counts of rape Wednesday, May 31 at his retrial in Los Angeles.

The seven-woman, five-man jury deadlocked on the third count after deliberating for over a week, The Associated Press reported.

The verdict was delivered some six months after Masterson’s first trial for raping three women he met through the Church of Scientology ended in a mistrial, with jurors leaning towards acquitting the now 47-year-old actor.

Masterson was charged with raping three women — identified at trial as Jane Doe #1, Jane Doe #2 and Jane Doe #3 — at his Hollywood Hills home from 2001 to 2003. He faced up to 45 years in prison if he was convicted on all three counts.

All three accusers are former members of the Church of Scientology, to which Masterson still belongs.

Just as in his first trial, Masterson never took the stand. And Masterson’s defense attorneys declined to call any witnesses.

Masterson, who has been free on bail since his June 2020 arrest by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division, has steadfastly denied all the allegations leveled against him by the women.

The sitcom star has also denied assaulting a fourth woman, identified as Jane Doe #4, who told the court during his first trial he had raped her, too.

Judge Charlaine Olmedo initially denied the prosecution’s request to put Jane Doe #4 on the stand in the first trial but changed her mind after prosecutors argued that Masterson’s lawyer opened the door by suggesting that Masterson’s three other accusers colluded against him. Masterson was not criminally charged with raping her.

District Attorney Reinhold Mueller put Jane Doe #4 on the stand again at Masterson’s retrial along with a fifth woman, who testified the actor raped her in 2000 after a cast party in Toronto, Deadline reported. The fifth woman did not testify in the first trial. Unlike Masterson and the three Jane Does he is charged with raping, the additional witnesses are not scientologists. 

Both of Masterson’s trials have focused a lot of unwanted attention on the Church of Scientology which the Jane Doe’s have accused of trying to cover up the allegations against the actor.

At the retrial, Olmedo made it clear once again that Scientology was not a defendant. But the judge again allowed witnesses to testify how they were pressured by church officials not to talk to police about the rape allegations.

Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw has denied those allegations and insisted, repeatedly, that church doctrine requires members to “abide by all the laws of the land.”

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