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One of Danny Masterson’s accusers took the stand in court Tuesday to tearfully recount the brutal rape she said she endured nearly two decades ago at the “That 70’s Show” star’s house, which was punctuated by the actor allegedly pulling a gun on her.
The woman, testifying in a preliminary hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for the star to go to trial, said she had gone to Masterson’s home to pick up her keys on April 25, 2003, according to The Associated Press.
While she had intended the visit to be brief, she decided to stay and socialize with a group of friends, who like her and Masterson were tied to the Church of Scientology.
The woman said Masterson fixed her a vodka drink, but she began to feel “blurry” and weak about 20 minutes later. Masterson allegedly threw her into the jacuzzi, but she was so weak she couldn’t sit up or walk, she testified.
According to the woman’s testimony, Masterson carried her up to an upstairs bathroom and stuck his fingers in her throat to make her throw up and then put her into the shower, The Los Angeles Times reports.
After the shower, she alleged that Masterson carried into the bedroom and raped her as she slipped in and out of consciousness.
“When I came to, he was on top of me,” she said. “The first thing I recall is grabbing his hair to pull him off.”
The woman told the court she had tried to fend him off, but he put a pillow on her face and choked her before he allegedly pulled out a gun from a nightstand.
“He told me, ‘Don’t f—ing move. Don’t say a word,'” she said, according to The Daily Beast.
After the alleged attack, the woman said she suffered pain in her genitalia and had bruising on her wrists and neck.
About two weeks later, she testified that she went to the Church of Scientology’s Hollywood celebrity center to report the assault, but said she was rebuffed by church leaders and given a warning to remain silent.
“If you’re going to say the word ‘rape’ don’t say it now,” she remembered a church leader telling her at the time, according to The Los Angeles Times. “We don’t use it.”
Church leaders reminded her about the rules related to “suppressive acts,” which prohibited her from contacting police, she said. The woman was worried if she went against the church, she’d be excommunicated from her family and stayed silent for 14 months until she ultimately reported the alleged attack to police.
No charges against the actor were filed at the time but police took a new look at the allegations in 2016 when two other accusers came forward against Masterson.
While on the stand, Masterson’s attorney, Thomas Mesereau, repeatedly questioned the woman about inconsistencies between her testimony and the 2004 police report about the incident, particularly that the report did not include any mention of a gun being used.
The woman told Mesereau that she had tried to be truthful whenever she recounted what happened.
In a statement to The Los Angeles Times, Karin Pouw, a spokeswoman for the Church of Scientology dismissed the woman’s claims that the church tried to dissuade her from going to police and denied the church’s policy on “suppressive acts” prevented members from reporting rapes or other crimes.
“There is absolutely no truth to this outrageous allegation whatsoever,” Pouw said. “There is no prohibition from reporting crimes to law enforcement in any Scientology policy.”
Masterson is facing three counts of rape by force or fear in connection with three alleged attacks that occurred between 2001 and 2003. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
Before testimony began, Masterson posted a smiling selfie of himself being driven to court by his wife, Bijou Phillips, on Instagram Tuesday.
“Had the most beautiful Uber driver drop me off at school today,” he wrote, noting his location as the “court house.”
The hearing, which is expected to last four days, continued on Wednesday.
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