LOS ANGELES — After the defence and prosecution have concluded their closing arguments in the case against the former “That ’70s Show” star, the jury in Danny Masterson’s rape retrial is anticipated to begin deliberations on Wednesday morning.
Three women had accused Masterson of rape; however, the jury was unable to reach a judgement in the case; as a result, Los Angeles Judge Charlaine Olmedo declared a mistrial.
In their lengthy closing statements on Tuesday, the prosecution said that Masterson drugged the women before assaulting them and then used his prominent position within the Church of Scientology to dodge punishment for years.
The 47-year-old Masterson denied raping three women in his home between 2001 and 2003. The women’s long-ago accounts are so contradictory, his attorney Philip Cohen said during his closing argument on Tuesday, that there is more than enough room for a reasonable doubt for the jury to exonerate Masterson.
Cohen emphasised the absence of any tangible signs of drug use and the investigation’s timing—approximately 15 years after the alleged rapes—which resulted in Masterson’s arrest.
After finishing the rebuttal for the prosecution that he started late on Tuesday, Anson’s colleague, Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller, will present the case to the jury.
During the trial, Scientology had a significant impact. The three women are all previous members, and Masterson is a member. According to the prosecution, the organisation shielded him and assisted in persuading the women that they were not sexually assaulted and could not report a fellow Scientologist who was in good standing to law enforcement. The church denied implementing such a rule.
Why have we heard about Scientology so much? Cohen concluded by saying. Could it be that the government’s case is flawed, you ask?
If found guilty on each of the three charges, Masterson could spend more than 40 years behind bars.