‘That ’70s Show’ actor Danny Masterson tried on three rape charges

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A prosecutor on Tuesday outlined three-woman rape allegations against “That ’70s Show” actor Danny Masterson two decades ago that contained some of the same disturbing elements. Two women became dizzy or passed out after a few drinks and were thrown into his hot tub, Assistant District Attorney Reinhold Mueller said in his opening statement at Masterson’s trial. One said he dragged her to his bed where she regained consciousness to find him having sex with her. A third woman, an ex-girlfriend, said she woke up to find it on her. Masterson’s lawyer said the reason the allegations had so much in common is that the alleged victims violated a detective’s warning not to talk to each other and ‘crossed’ their accounts and undermined their credibility . “If you talk to each other, you will contaminate this case,” they were told, defense attorney Phillip Cohen said in Los Angeles Superior Court. “Talking to each other and other witnesses is fatal to a case.” Masterson, 46, pleaded not guilty to three counts of forcible rape between 2001 and 2003 at his Hollywood home, which served as a social center when he was at the height Cohen urged jurors not to hold account of Masterson’s affiliation with the Church of Scientology and his connection to the case, while Mueller said it helped explain why the women – all former members of the church – waited so long to report incidents. Two of the alleged victims first went to the church to report what had happened to them and were told that it was not a rape and that to report it to the authorities or talk to someone else. others would end up being ostracized by their closest friends and even family members. “You basically become an enemy of the church,” Mueller said. “You lose everything.” Cohen said the matter had nothing to do with religion and he repeatedly objected when it was brought up. Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo sternly reminded the attorneys that Scientology would not dominate the trial. The trial witness list is full of members and former members of the church, which has a strong presence in Los Angeles and counts many famous people among its members. The list includes former member Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley and ex-wife of Michael Jackson. , a friend of one of the alleged victims. One of the women was Masterson’s longtime girlfriend. Another was her personal assistant’s best friend and the third, an actress, was a new acquaintance. His assistant’s friend filed a complaint with the police. because she was unhappy with the way the Scientology Ethics Committee handled her complaint. No charges were laid at the time. In 2016, she connected and shared stories with the ex-girlfriend who is one of the sers. Each filed a police report that year. Masterson’s former girlfriend said she did so after telling her story to her husband, who helped her realize she had been raped. The third woman went to police in 2017. At a preliminary hearing last year, defense attorneys suggested the consensual sex had been retroactively reframed as rape and said the age of the incidents made precise memories impossible. If convicted, Masterson could face up to 45 years in prison. The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they have been sexually abused unless they come forward publicly. Masterson was one of the first Hollywood personalities to be sued in the #MeToo era. It is one of several high-profile sexual assault cases that have come to trial around the fifth anniversary of the denunciation of charges against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, which turned the #MeToo movement into an international judgment. . Weinstein’s second rape and sexual assault trial — he’s already been convicted in New York — is happening simultaneously, just down the hall from Masterson. In New York, civil trials have begun for actor Kevin Spacey and screenwriter and director Paul Haggis, who are both being sued for sexual assault. Haggis is himself a dissident of Scientology, and the judge in this case allows him to argue that the church is behind the allegations against him. Show. “Masterson had reunited with Kutcher on the Netflix comedy ‘The Ranch’ but was written off the show when an LAPD investigation came to light in December 2017.

A prosecutor on Tuesday outlined three women’s rape allegations against “That ’70s Show” actor Danny Masterson two decades ago that contained some of the same troubling elements.

Two women became dizzy or passed out after a few drinks and were thrown into his hot tub, Assistant District Attorney Reinhold Mueller said in his opening statement at Masterson’s trial. One said he dragged her to his bed where she regained consciousness to find him having sex with her. A third woman, an ex-girlfriend, said she woke up to find it on her.

Masterson’s attorney said the reason the allegations had so much in common is that the alleged victims violated a detective’s warning not to talk to each other and “pollinated” their accounts and undermined their credibility.

“If you talk to each other, you will contaminate this case,” they were told, defense attorney Phillip Cohen said in Los Angeles Superior Court. “Talking to yourself and other witnesses is fatal to a case.”

Masterson, 46, pleaded not guilty to three counts of forced rape between 2001 and 2003 at his Hollywood home, which served as a social center when he was at the height of his fame.

Cohen urged jurors to disregard Masterson’s affiliation with the Church of Scientology and his connection to the case, while Mueller said it helped explain why the women – all former church members – had waited so long to report the incidents.

Two of the alleged victims first went to the church to report what had happened to them and were told that it was not a rape and that to report it to the authorities or talk to someone else. others would end up being ostracized by their closest friends and even family members.

“You basically become an enemy of the church,” Mueller said. “You lose everything.”

Cohen said the matter had nothing to do with religion and he repeatedly objected to it when it was brought up.

Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo sternly reminded the attorneys that Scientology would not dominate the trial.

The trial witness list is full of members and former members of the church, which has a strong presence in Los Angeles and counts many famous people among its members. The list includes former member Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley and ex-wife of Michael Jackson, a friend of one of the alleged victims.

One of the women was Masterson’s longtime girlfriend. Another was his personal assistant’s best friend, and the third, an actress, was a new acquaintance.

Her assistant’s friend complained to the police because she was unhappy with the way the Scientology Ethics Committee handled her complaint. No charges were laid at the time.

In 2016, she connected and shared stories with the ex-girlfriend who is one of the accusers. Each filed a police report that year. Masterson’s former girlfriend said she did so after telling her story to her husband, who helped her realize she had been raped. The third woman went to the police in 2017.

At a preliminary hearing last year, defense attorneys suggested the consensual sex had been retroactively reframed as rape and said the age of the incidents made accurate memories impossible.

If convicted, Masterson could face up to 45 years in prison.

The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they have been sexually abused unless they come forward publicly.

Masterson was one of the first Hollywood personalities to be sued in the #MeToo era. It is one of several high-profile sexual assault cases that have come to trial around the fifth anniversary of the reporting of charges against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, who transformed the #movement MeToo in an international judgment.

Weinstein’s second rape and sexual assault trial — he’s already been convicted in New York — is happening simultaneously, just down the hall from Masterson. In New York, civil trials have begun for actor Kevin Spacey and screenwriter and director Paul Haggis, both charged with sexual assault.

Haggis is a Scientology dissident himself, and the judge in this case allows him to argue that the church is behind the allegations against him.

From 1998 to 2006, Masterson starred as Steven Hyde on Fox’s “That ’70s Show,” which starred Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Topher Grace and got an upcoming Netflix reboot with “That ’90s.” show”.

Masterson had reunited with Kutcher in the Netflix comedy “The Ranch,” but was written off the show when an LAPD investigation came to light in December 2017.

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