Judge Rules That Danny Masterson Must Stand Trial On 3 Counts Of Rape After Accusers Testify
Danny Masterson, former star of That ’70s Show, was charged last June with raping three women in separate incidents that occurred from 2001-2003. The actor pled not guilty to the charges, which prosecutors say all allegedly took place at his home. Masterson’s lawyer entered the plea on his behalf in January. At a later hearing, the defense stated that the case should be thrown out because the statute of limitations had passed. The Los Angeles judge ruled that the case would move forward.
This most recent hearing, the preliminary hearing, was meant to decide whether there was enough evidence for the case to continue to trial. From Tuesday to Thursday, all three women testified in front of the judge, telling their disturbing accounts of the events.
The first accuser tearfully told the court that she had only gone over to Masterson’s home to retrieve some keys when he convinced her to stay. There was a party going on and he offered her a drink. After a single mixed vodka drink, the woman said things started to get “blurry.” She described how Masterson took her upstairs and she vomited. He tried putting her in the shower before she lost consciousness. The woman said she tried to fight him off, but she felt too weak and he raped her. She also told the court that she was wary about filing a police report due to Masterson’s connections in the Church of Scientology, but she ultimately did so in June 2004.
The second accuser was a woman who was in a five-year relationship with Masterson when she allegedly woke up to him raping her in their home. She said he smacked her across the face with his fist and called her “white trash.” In another incident, the woman blacked out and woke up in pain. She alleged that she realized he had raped her. The woman, who Masterson had convinced to join the Church of Scientology, said that she reported Masterson’s actions to the ethics officials at the church. She stated that the officials told her she was not raped and she didn’t report Masterson until 15 years later.
The third accuser said that Masterson allegedly pressured her to come over and raped her later that night. The woman said she gave in to his demands because “I didn’t want any violence to take place, I didn’t want things to escalate. I was giggling, trying to say, ‘No, I don’t want to.'” She also allegedly said that she did what he told her that night partly because of his position within the Church of Scientology.
At the end of the hearing, the judge decided that Masterson would stand trial for three counts of rape. If found guilty, he could face up to 45 years in prison.