Jury in Danny Masterson rape trial says it’s deadlocked

Cast member Danny Masterson attends the premiere of the film "Yes Man" in Los Angeles in December 2008. File Photo by Phil McCarten/UPI

Nov. 19 (UPI) — The jury deliberating actor Danny Masterson’s rape trial said Friday that it is deadlocked, setting the stage for a possible mistrial.

Masterson, the 46-year-old star of “That ’70s Show,” was arrested in June 2020 and charged with raping three women between 2001 and 2003 at his home in the Hollywood Hills. He faced a maximum sentence of 45 years to life in prison if convicted.

The jury has been deliberating the case for three days and has not reached a verdict, according to Variety and Deadline. Masterson has been out on $3.3 million bail since his arrest.

Judge Charlaine Olmedo said Friday that the jurors have not deliberated long enough for a mistrial to be declared and ordered them to take a week off for Thanksgiving and resume deliberations on Nov. 28.

The weekslong trial, which has been one of the highest-profile cases of the #MeToo movement, has largely focused on whether the alleged sexual assaults were consensual sex or rape.

Attorneys for Masterson, who is a high-ranking member of the Church of Scientology, have sought to discredit the testimony of his three accusers as untruthful and pointed to testimony from a sexual assault trauma expert.

Philip Cohen, an attorney for Masterson, said that Dr. Mindy Mechanic testified that the alleged victims have motivations to lie including money, anger and jealousy, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

During their deliberations, the jury asked to review exhibits in the case including LAPD reports about the alleged assault, Deadline reported. The jury had also requested material from the defense’s closing arguments but were advised that those are not evidence that can be reviewed.

Masterson was fired from Netflix’s The Ranch television show in late 2017.


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