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“The jury is hopelessly deadlocked”: That ’70s Show Star Danny Masterson Breathes Sigh of Relief, Sexual Assault Case Ends in Mistrial

danny masterson

On 30th November 2022, the criminal case against Danny Masterson accusing him of rape on three accounts ended in a mistrial, marking the end of a thorough trial ensuing in the aftermath of 2017’s #MeToo movement. That ’70s Show star had been a focal point of the campaign that seeks to shed light on the systematic cycle of abuse and sexual assault charges building against numerous actors, executives, and producers within the high walls of Hollywood.

Danny Masterson
Danny Masterson

However, after lengthy deliberation, the L.A. jury declared their immovable individual stance on the matter and their inability to reach a unanimous verdict, resulting in the sexual assault case against Danny Masterson ending in a mistrial.

Also read: That ’70s Show Star Danny Masterson’s Fate Precariously Hangs in the Balance in Sexual Assault Trial as Jury “Unable to reach a unanimous decision”

Criminal Case Against Danny Masterson Finds No Resolution

The downtown L.A. courthouse that witnessed the criminal case against Danny Masterson opening on October 18th has been one of the pivotal outcomes of the #MeToo campaign. Three women, all belonging to the Church of Scientology, had come forward despite being allegedly threatened with ex-communication by the Church. The women testified against Masterson at the trial after individual accusations of r*pe and sexual assault charges against the actor. A fourth victim’s claims, however, led to no charges.

Danny Masterson case ends in mistrial
The Danny Masterson sexual assault case ends in a mistrial

Also read: Popular Celebs Other Than Tom Cruise Who Are Involved With Scientology

The evidence presented before deliberations began on November 15th was ambiguous in the portrayal of the women in the aftermath of the alleged r*pe. Claims of physical bruising were, on one plaintiff’s part, evidently missing in a photograph taken after the alleged r*pe had occurred. Defense attorney, Philip Cohen argued that his client maintained each encounter was consensual. The jury reached a deadlock on November 18th, following which deliberations were postponed for a week over the Thanksgiving holidays.

On November 30th, Judge Charlaine Olmedo declared, “I find the jury is hopelessly deadlocked. Therefore, I do declare a mistrial.” Further discussions about the case moving forward are set to be determined through a status conference scheduled for January 10, 2023. A tentative date for a new trial has been set for March 27, 2023.

A Brief Review of the Case Against Danny Masterson

In 2016, a plaintiff was approached during the formative phases of the building of a case against Danny Masterson. The same Jane Doe claimed that the Church of Scientology played a crucial role in silencing her (along with the two other accusers who went on to testify in the recent trial) and was eventually boxed in with an NDA and a settlement of $400,000 back in 2004. In a statement about whether this would factor in the case against Masterson, Reinhold Mueller, a deputy D.A. claimed,  “It plays a big part.”

Danny Masterson and criminal defense attorney Philip Cohen
Danny Masterson and criminal defense attorney Philip Cohen

Also read: “Don’t let him fool you”: Leah Remini Accuses Tom Cruise of Enabling Abuse in Scientology Cult

Philip Cohen, the defense attorney in the Danny Masterson trial, argued vehemently against the charges of r*pe and sexual assault stating that the encounters were consensual on all counts and that one of the accusers had been involved in a relationship with his client while another had approached him for a fling” at the time of the claims of r*pe. Cohen relied on the inconsistency provided by the women during their testimony and claimed,

“This was a jury that went through each bit of testimony and had some heartfelt and significant discussions about credibility. It speaks volumes.”

The deputy D.A. provided a strong closing argument shining a light on Danny Masterson’s alleged methods of incapacitating the plaintiffs once they were in his house. Testimony was provided where one woman claimed she was unconscious at the time of the act and had been choked and threatened with a gun when she came to. Following the mistrial, the plaintiffs claimed, “the legal fight is far from over.” They now have a civil suit in place against both the Church of Scientology for attempting to “systematically stalk, harass, and intimidate” them into staying silent and against Danny Masterson.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Written by Diya Majumdar

At 25, Diya Majumdar is inching closer to getting to the bottom of every film and television's history in existence. Having graduated with honors in literature from Miranda House, DU, her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema, with almost 500 published articles on Fandomwire. She is a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh and boasts of being an avid painter of all their troubled works. If she’s not writing or painting, Diya can often be found in tattoo parlors across Delhi or on rooftops at 3 am listening to music.