Actor Danny Masterson was convicted on Wednesday on two counts of rape during his retrial in Los Angeles. The Associated Press reported that the seven-woman, five-man jury deadlocked on the third count after deliberating for over a week. The actor has been free on bail since his June 2020 arrest by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division.
Wednesday’s verdict was delivered nearly six months after Masterson’s first trial ended with a mistrial, with jurors leaning towards acquitting the now 47-year-old star of “That ’70s Show”. Masterson was accused of raping three women he met through the Church of Scientology (to which Masterson still belongs) – 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.
Masterson has denied all the allegations leveled against him by the women. Masterson never took the stand in either the first trial or retrial, and his defense attorneys declined to call any witnesses. The actor also denies assaulting a fourth woman, identified as Jane Doe #4, who told the court during his first trial he had raped her; Masterson has not been criminally charged with raping her. Both of Masterson’s trials have focused on the Church of Scientology, which Masterson’s accusers all said tried to cover up the allegations against the actor. 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 the allegations, saying that church doctrine requires members to “abide by all the laws of the land.”
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