Danny Masterson rape case declared a mistrial

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80 shares, 141 points

A judge ruled a mistrial in the Danny Masterson rape case Wednesday, as the jury could not reach a decision on whether the actor was innocent or guilty.

During the five-week trial, jurors heard testimony from several alleged victims, including one woman who testified she thought she was “going to die” when she claimed the former “That ’70s Show” star choked and raped her in April 2003.

Masterson, 46, was charged with three counts of forcible rape over incidents that occurred between 2001 to 2003 involving three accusers.

Prosecutors must now make a decision on whether to retry Masterson.

Although Scientology was not a named defendant in this trial, the victims testified about the fear and alienation they felt about reporting a prominent member of the Church such as Masterson.

The victims, who also were members of Scientology at the time of the incidents, said their religious practices didn’t allow them to think the incidents were rape.

One of the women, Jen B., testified when she attempted to report Masterson to other Church members, she was told to “stop blaming” Masterson because according to Scientology, “You can never be a victim. Nothing ever happens to you without it being your fault.”

Jen B. also testified she was in an out of consciousness and woke up to Masterson on top of her, his penis in her vagina. She said she tried to push the actor off but he pulled her hair. At some point, Masterson put his hand around her throat.

Jen B. said she thought she was going “to die. That he was going to kill me.”

Jen B. also testified she was given a choice after the incident — either sign a $400,000 non-disclosure agreement or risk being excommunicated from Scientology, her family and friends.

Chrissie B., another accuser who was a former girlfriend of the actor, told jurors she met Masterson at a party in 1996 when she just turned 18. About a year into the relationship, Chrissie B. said Masterson became emotionally and sexually abusive.

She said Masterson raped her twice in the Hollywood Hills home they had shared in 2011. During one of the incidents, Chrissie B. said she woke up to Masterson’s full weight on top of her. Despite screaming and objecting, Chrissie B. said Masterson continued to rape her.

She also testified Masterson would urinate on her in the shower, which he thought was funny.

Chrissie also testified when she refused to have sex after a long flight from Paris, the actor dragged her across the floor by her hair. She also testified Masterson hit her once and told her she was “out-ethics … I was a potential trouble source,” which was a Scientology term for someone who caused trouble.

Masterson did not take the stand during the trial.

In his closing argument, defense attorney Philip Cohen said the accusers’ accounts were “contradictions and fabrications” and that Scientology was mentioned more than 700 times during the trial, according to Variety.

“We’ve heard Scientology over and over again — so much so it became the go-to excuse,” Cohen said to jurors. “When someone didn’t remember something or someone got contradicted, it became about Scientology.”

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