A prosecutor on Tuesday described the three women’s rape allegations against That’s 70 performances actor Danny Masterson from two decades ago contains some of the same worrisome elements.
Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller said the two women became comatose or fainted after drinking several glasses of wine and were thrown into his hot tub, Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller said in the opening statement. Masterson’s trial. One of them said he dragged her to his bed, where she awoke to find him having sex with her. A third woman, an ex-girlfriend, said she woke up to find him on top of her.
Masterson’s attorney said the reason the charges have so much in common is that the alleged victims violated detectives’ warnings not to talk to each other and had “cross-pollinated” their accounts and undermine their reputation.
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“If you guys talk to each other, you’re going to pollute this case,” defense attorney Phillip Cohen said in Los Angeles Superior Court. “Talking to each other and other witnesses can be fatal to a case.”
Masterson, 46, pleaded not guilty to three counts of raping between 2001 and 2003 at his Hollywood home, which served as a social hub when he was at the height of his fame.
Cohen urged jurors not to consider Masterson’s ties to the Church of Scientology and its ties to the case, while Mueller said that helps explain why the women – all was a former member of the church – waited too long to report the incident.
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Two of the alleged victims first went to the church to report what had happened to them and were told it was not rape and that reporting to the authorities or telling others about it. That will end with them being ostracized by their closest friends and even family members.
“You basically become the enemy of the church,” Mueller said. “You’re all gone.”
Cohen said the case had nothing to do with religion and that he repeatedly protested when it came to light.
Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo sternly reminded the lawyers that Scientology would not dominate the trial.
The trial’s witness list is full of members and former members of the church, which has a strong presence in Los Angeles and features many famous figures among its members. The list includes former member Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley and ex-wife of Michael Jackson, a friend of one of the alleged victims.
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One of the women was Masterson’s longtime girlfriend. Another was close friends with his personal assistant, and the third, an actress, was a newer acquaintance.
A friend of his assistant filed a police report because she was unhappy with the way the Scientology ethics committee handled her complaint. No fees were offered at the time.
In 2016, she connected and shared a story with an ex-girlfriend who was one of the accusers. Each filed a police report that year. Masterson’s ex-girlfriend said she did so after telling her story to her husband, who helped her understand she had been raped. The third woman went to the police in 2017.
Cohen said at the heart of the defense was a “coil of bitter contradiction” between what the women initially said and how their accounts changed over time.
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A woman who said she was raped after she lost consciousness drinking some fruity red vodka that Masterson gave her told police she had consensual sex with him months ago it in similar circumstances. Now she says she disagrees. Masterson is not facing charges over those charges.
Another alleged victim went to Masterson’s home after he invited her over. She set ground rules that she wouldn’t have sex with him and told him “no sex” over and over as the hoax progressed, Mueller said. He described Masterson’s alleged assault as so intense that the woman vomited in her mouth and was “soft as a rag doll”.
But Cohen insists that the woman was in bed with Masterson for hours talking and listening to music and thought “we might start dating” after she left. He said she was dismayed when Masterson didn’t call or text her.
The ex-girlfriend said that after breaking up with Masterson, she had consensual sex with him two other times.
If convicted, Masterson could face up to 45 years in prison.
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, domestic or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit them website. In the event of an emergency, call 000.
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