In a courtroom drama that has captivated the public, the retrial of actor Danny Masterson entered a crucial phase as jurors concluded their third day of deliberations. Masterson, best known for his role in the popular TV series “That ’70s Show,” faces charges of rape involving three women at his Hollywood Hills residence between 2001 and 2003. As the jury’s decision lingers, the outcome of this closely watched trial hangs in the balance.
With the courtroom abuzz with anticipation, the downtown Los Angeles jury commenced their meticulous deliberations on Wednesday morning, following impassioned closing arguments by the attorneys involved. Comprised of seven women and five men, this diverse panel is carefully scrutinizing the evidence and testimonies presented throughout the trial, determined to reach a just resolution.
Friday morning saw Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo send the jurors back to their deliberation room after their request to revisit portions of a pivotal January 2017 interview. The interview, featuring two Los Angeles Police Department detectives and one of the alleged victims—an ex-girlfriend of Masterson—holds vital information central to the case. This display of juror diligence reinforces the gravity of their responsibility.
While specifics of the jurors’ question on Friday morning remain undisclosed, it is clear that no stone is being left unturned in the pursuit of justice. The courtroom awaits an impending session, to be determined, when all parties will reconvene before the judge to address the inquiry and, potentially, pave the way for the much-anticipated verdict.
This retrial marks the second attempt to obtain a verdict against Masterson, who initially faced charges in 2020 relating to three counts of rape by force or fear. The previous trial ended in a mistrial in November 2020, as the jurors leaned towards acquittal, resulting in a deadlock on all counts.
Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller passionately implored the jury to hold Masterson accountable, asserting that the actor drugged and raped each of the alleged victims. In contrast, defense attorney Philip Kent Cohen emphasized the importance of scrutinizing the credibility of the accusers, highlighting inconsistencies in their accounts. The courtroom saw a battle of narratives as the prosecution and defense presented contrasting perspectives on the case.
A significant aspect that has emerged during the trial is the connection between the alleged victims and the Church of Scientology, to which both Masterson and the accusers belonged. Mueller argued that the church retaliated against the victims following the incidents. However, Cohen raised doubts about the government’s case, questioning the focus on Scientology and suggesting potential flaws.
As the trial unfolds, Masterson, who maintains his innocence, remains free on bail, his career significantly impacted by the allegations. In 2017, he was removed from the widely acclaimed series “The Ranch” amidst the sexual assault accusations, a move that reverberated throughout the industry.
Beyond the criminal trial, a civil lawsuit filed in 2019 by the three women involved in the criminal case, along with another woman, has garnered attention. The lawsuit alleges stalking and harassment by Masterson and the Church of Scientology in response to the reporting of sexual assault allegations.
While the jury’s verdict continues to elude everyone involved, the ramifications of their decision hold immense significance. The courtrooms remain charged with tension as the truth strives to emerge from the intricate web of testimonies, evidence, and legal arguments. As the trial enters its crucial phase, the world eagerly awaits the resolution of the Danny Masterson case, a moment that will reverberate throughout the entertainment industry and beyond.