After the jury was unable to come to a conclusion in the Danny Masterson rape case, the judge declared a mistrial on Wednesday.
The “That ’70s Show” star, who was accused of felony rape on three separate occasions by three different women, entered a not guilty plea. Attacks were allegedly carried out between 2001 and 2003.
Two jurors gave guilty verdicts on count 1, while 10 gave not guilty verdicts. Four people voted guilty on count 2 while eight people voted not guilty. On count 3, five people voted guilty and seven people voted not guilty.
Both Masterson and the three alleged victims belonged to the Church of Scientology. All three women admitted that at first, they were reluctant to cooperate with law enforcement because they believed that church doctrine discouraged calling the police. The women eventually left the church.
One woman said the actor shoved a pillow into her face one evening in 2003.
“I was smothered,” she said on the stand, according to The Associated Press. “I could not breathe.”
She claimed that Masterson tried to choke her, held her down, and that she believed “he was going to kill me.”
Another woman who dated Masterson in 2001 alleged that he sexually assaulted her while she was fast asleep.
Each of the encounters, according to Masterson, who was detained in 2020, was consensual. All three alleged rapes occurred while “That ’70s Show” was still airing.
There is “no policy prohibiting or discouraging members from reporting criminal conduct of Scientologists, or of anyone, to law enforcement,” the Church of Scientology told ABC News in October. “Church policy explicitly demands Scientologists abide by all laws of the land,” the Church of Scientology said.
If convicted of all charges, Masterson could have spent the rest of his life behind bars.
The District Attorney’s Office for Los Angeles County stated that it will now think about its “next steps as it relates to prosecuting this case.”
The office issued a statement saying, “While we are disappointed with the verdict in this case, we thank the jurors for their service. We also want to express our sincere gratitude to the victims for speaking out so bravely and sharing their traumatic experiences.
In addition, two of the alleged victims are contesting the allegations in a civil lawsuit against Masterson and the Church of Scientology.
“We are obviously disappointed that, at least for the time being, Daniel Masterson has evaded criminal accountability for his deplorable acts,” they said in a joint statement, adding that they are “collectively resolved to continue our fight for justice, including in civil court.”
Attorney Alison Anderson stated that her clients “remain hopeful that Mr. Masterson will experience some criminal consequences for his vile conduct” in the civil case.
Anderson said in a statement that “our clients showed tremendous courage in testifying about such personal and horrifying acts in a very public forum and despite persistent harassment and intimidation.”
Philip Cohen, the attorney for Masterson, said he was able to speak with the jurors but chose not to divulge what they discussed because he intends to ask the court to dismiss the case if the prosecution chooses to proceed.
“I think we would be well-prepared to try this case again,” Cohen said. “It would be another set of statements. Another bit of testimony. And we are ready to do that. If that’s what the government sees fit.”