- A judge denied Danny Masterson’s motion to dismiss three rape charges against him Tuesday
- Last year Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo denied the Scientologist actor’s first motion to dismiss the charges
- Masterson – who was not in court today – remains free on the $3.3 million bail set when he was arrested in June 2020
- He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges
- Judge Ronald Coen denied today’s motion to dismiss, saying the testimony of the alleged victims’ at the pre-trial hearing was ‘credible and sufficient’
- The women accused Masterson of raping them at his Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003
- They also accuse the Church of Scientology of hiring people to follow them, photograph them, tap their phones and hack their emails
That ’70s Show star Danny Masterson today failed – for a second time – to persuade a judge to throw out three rape charges he’s facing.
Last year Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo denied the Scientologist actor’s motion to dismiss the charges.
Masterson, 45, then sent his legal team back to court today before a different judge, Ronald Coen, to ask again for a dismissal, arguing that Judge Olmedo’s denial of the motion was ‘based on a legal error.’
But Judge Coen rejected today’s dismissal motion and sent the case back to Judge Olmedo who has ordered Masterson to stand trial on August 29 this year for allegedly raping three women at his Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003.
Masterson – who was not in court today – remains free on the $3.3 million bail set when he was arrested in June 2020. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Today’s hearing centered around testimony at a pre-trial hearing last May when the three accusers – all of them one-time Scientologists – contended that they waited a long time to report the alleged rapes because they were afraid of retribution from the church.
At that hearing, Judge Olmedo criticized the church for its ‘written doctrine that not only discourages but prohibits’ a Scientologist from reporting another church member to the police.
And she ruled that the church’s ‘expressly written doctrine sufficiently explains the hesitancy and lateness’ in reporting the alleged rapes.
Today, Masterson’s attorney, Philip Cohen, questioned whether Olmedo’s ruling was based on a legal error…because ‘that written doctrine does not exist.’
He cast doubt on the credibility of all three alleged victims whose testimony, he said were ‘a myriad of inconsistencies.’
Prosecutor Reinhold Mueller countered, calling Cohen’s argument ‘a lot of supposition and speculation about what the magistrate was thinking at the time of her ruling.’
Judge Coen denied today’s motion to dismiss, saying he agreed with Judge Olmedo’s finding that the evidence and testimony of the alleged victims’ at the pre-trial hearing was ‘credible and sufficient to support the charges.’
At a three-day hearing last May all three accusers – identified only as Jen B, Christina B and N. Trout – broke down in tears as they took the witness stand to give harrowing and wrenching accounts of being raped by Masterson.
Jen B told how he threw her in his jacuzzi, raped her and then pulled a gun on her, telling her, ‘Don’t say a f..king word. You’re not going to tell anybody.’
Christina B described how she woke up naked to find Masterson raping her and when she tried to fight him off, he hit her and spit on her, calling her ‘white trash.’
N. Trout told how he ‘ravaged her like a rag doll and pounded her from behind like a jackhammer.’
All three said before each alleged rape, Masterson gave them a drink after which they felt ‘blurry’ and disoriented.
Masterson has been married to actress Bijou Phillips since 2011. They have a daughter Fianna who turns 8 next week. US Weekly reported last month that Phillips, 41, ‘fully supports’ him in the case.
The magazine said Masterson has been spending his time at his ranch in Santa Ynez, California, rarely going out because he didn’t want to be recognized. A source told Us that Masterson is ‘absolutely petrified’ of what is to come.
He could face 45 years in prison if found guilty.
And the alleged victims – who are also suing Masterson in civil court – testified they feared retribution from the Church of Scientology if they reported the actor to the cops.
They are also suing the Church of Scientology for harassment, claiming they were hacked, followed, and spied on. Masterson is a lifelong member of the church, his parents being members since before he was born.
The church sent an attorney to today’s hearing to file an Amicus Brief – a brief filed by a person or organization who is not a party to the case but wishes to contribute information or advice that might be helpful to the court.
The church’s brief – aimed at Judge Olmedo’s criticism of Scientology doctrine that she said prohibited Scientologist from reporting other church members to the police – argued, ‘It is incorrect – that is not the doctrine of the Church of Scientology.’
But Judge Coen denied the Amicus Brief, telling the court, ‘This goes beyond the scope of my authority.’