He That 70’s Show star was convicted on two of the three rape charges on Wednesday, two weeks after closing arguments ended, according to Los Angeles Times reporter james queally present at the trial. On a third count, the jury was tied 8-4, toward a guilty verdict, Queally reported on Twitter.
The verdict comes nearly three years after Masterson was indicted in June 2020 for “forcibly raping three women in separate incidents occurred between 2001 and 2003″.
The actor, who has pleaded not guilty and denied all charges against him, did not testify in the new trial. He face up to 45 years in prison.
Masterson’s wife, actress Bijou Phillips, reportedly let out a cry of pain in the courtroom shortly after the verdict was read, according to reports. the LA Times.
Michael Tullberg/Getty danny masterson
Masterson’s first rape trial ended in a mistrial on November 30, 2022 after the jury failed to reach a consensus on all three charges after more than seven attempts, and a week-long recess for Memorial Day. Thanksgiving, to secure a verdict. The case was further complicated after two jurors tested positive for COVID-19 and had to be subsequently replaced.
During the retrial, Assistant District Attorney Ariel Anson told jurors that Masterson drugged his victims and used Church of Scientology membership as a way to escape consequences for his actions, according to the court. Associated Press. “Don’t you want to have sex? You don’t have a choice,” Anson said. “The defendant makes that decision for these victims. And he does it over and over and over again.”
By contrast, Masterson’s attorney, Philip Cohen, pointed to inconsistencies in the women’s testimonies and the lack of drug evidence, according to the outlet. “Ms. Anson presented a case as if she were arguing a drug case,” he said. “Maybe it’s because there’s no evidence of force or violence.”
Although the judge explained that the Church of Scientology was not on trial, the organization still weighed heavily on the case. All three women, as well as Masterson, were members of the church when the alleged attacks occurred and claimed they were intimidated, harassed and harassed after Masterson was accused. His civil lawsuit against the church and Masterson is still pending.
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