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‘I Am So Thankful’: Danny Masterson’s Attorney Reacts After Judge Declares Rape Trial A Mistrial
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office has said it was “disappointed with the outcome” Wednesday and is still determining whether they plan to re-try the case.
A Los Angeles judge declared a mistrial in the rape trial against “That 70’s Show” actor Danny Masterson Wednesday after the jury reported they were “hopelessly deadlocked.”
Masterson, 46, had been accused of violently raping three women — including a former girlfriend — between 2001 and 2003 at his Hollywood Hills home.
However, after weeks of testimony, jurors were unable to reach a consensus about his guilt or innocence.
As a result, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo declared a mistrial Wednesday after concluding that the jurors were “hopelessly deadlocked,” Fox News reports.
Masterson’s attorney, Philip Cohen, told Oxygen.com that he was pleased by judge’s decision.
"I am so thankful for the incredible care and commitment that the jurors showed in this case. This trial was about nothing other than the credibility of the three accusers and that credibility could only be determined by comparing, contrasting and focusing on the ever-evolving statements given by the women," Cohen said.
During the final vote among the jury, only two jurors voted to convict Masterson of one of the rape charges, according to The Los Angeles Times. Four jurors believed he was guilty on a second charge and five were in favor of convicting him on the third charge lodged against him.
"The vote count says it all and it is a true testament to our justice system that the jurors were able to see through all the inflammatory noise and focus solely on what was truly important,” Cohen said.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, however, reacted to the development with sadness.
“While we were disappointed with the outcome in this trial, we thank the jurors for their service,” they wrote in a statement to CNN. “We also want to give our heartfelt appreciation to the victims for bravely stepping forward and recounting their harrowing experiences.”
The office now plans to “consider our next steps” before deciding whether or not to pursue a new trial. In court Wednesday, Olmedo set a new trial date for March 27.
After the judge’s decision, Masterson and his wife Bijou Phillips were seen leaving the courthouse together, holding hands.
The three female accusers told the jury that Masterson had violently raped them after giving them alcohol.
One of the accusers testified that Masterson had pulled out a gun during the alleged attack and choked her until she lost consciousness.
“I thought I was going to die,” she testified, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Another woman, who had dated Masterson for years, alleged that she had been raped while she was sleeping in 2001. She testified that the Hollywood star wouldn’t stop assaulting her even though she tried to pull his hair and pleaded with him to stop.
Although Masterson never took the stand himself, Cohen told jurors the sexual acts had been consensual and focused on inconsistencies he said were in the women’s stories, according to The Associated Press.
The women — who were all former members of the Church of Scientology, which Masterson still attends — said they initially remained silent about the alleged attacks for years out of fear of being punished by the church.
The women have claimed that after Masterson was charged in 2020 with forcible rape, the church tried to intimate and harass them, according to The Associated Press. They are now suing the church in civil court.
A spokesperson for the church has denied the allegations and said the women have misrepresented the church.
“There is zero truth to any of the testimony that the church has harassed or stalked the Jane Does,” spokesperson Karin Pouw said.
After the decision to declare a mistrial, two of the victims issued a statement saying they plan to continue to pursue justice.
"We would first like to thank the jury for its public service," said Jane Doe #2 and Jane #3 in a statement to Deadline. "We are obviously disappointed that, at least for the time being, Daniel Masterson has evaded criminal accountability for his deplorable acts. However, we are collectively resolved to continue our fight for justice, including in civil court, where we have alleged that Mr. Masterson, along with the Church of Scientology, its leader David Miscavige, and others conspired to systematically stalk, harass, and intimidate us when we sought to shed light on Mr. Masterson's actions. This legal fight is far from over, and it is critical that we reckon with Scientology's alleged role in covering up reports of abuse and threatening victims."