Danny Masterson Rape Trial To Go Ahead, Judge Rules; Much Accused Actor Faces 45 Years In Prison If Found Guilty

AP

After four days of often gut-wrenching testimony by alleged victims during a preliminary hearing, a California judge today has determined there is enough evidence for Danny Masterson to stand trial on multiple rape charges.

With the That 70’s Show actor in the downtown L.A. courtroom on Friday, Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo ordered Masterson to return on June 7 for arraignment. Accused of raping three women between 2001 and 2003, The Ranch star is out on $3.3 million bail and remains free.

Back in January, the absent Masterson’s main defense lawyer Tom Mesereau said his client was pleading not guilty to claims that he sexually assaulted the three women. Accused in June 2020 of three counts of forcible rape, Masterson faces a possible maximum sentence of 45 years to life in state prison if found guilty.

Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller of the Sex Crimes Division, who is prosecuting the case, said all of the alleged crimes occurred at the defendant’s Hollywood Hills home.

Over the past week, the trio of women — including an accuser known as Christina B., who was in a six-year relationship with the actor — testified in graphic detail of attacks and assaults by Masterson.

As part of the hearings, the connection that all of the alleged victims as well as Masterson have had and, in the actor’s case, continue to have with the Church of Scientology came up. In fact, defense lawyer Mesereau on more than one occasion condemned the whole matter as being an attack on Scientology.

A separate civil case is ongoing in which it is claimed the church targeted Masterson’s alleged victims for taking their stories to the LAPD and other law-enforcement officials. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Steven Kleifield ruled on the last day of 2020  that the civil complaints must be settled by the Church of Scientology in “religious arbitration” because an arbitration agreement already exists that compels any disputes to be handled in that manner.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2021/05/danny-masterson-rape-trial-ordered-scientology-70s-show-1234762059/