Danny Masterson Charged with Three Counts of Rape "By Force or Fear"

masterson.jpg



Danny Masterson Charged with Three Counts of Rape "By Force or Fear"
If convicted on all counts, the That '70s Show actor could face 45 years to life in prison.
By Anthony Breznican
June 17, 2020


Actor Danny Masterson has long been accused of acts of sexual violence, and on Wednesday the That ’70s Show actor was finally arrested after being charged with the rapes of three women in separate incidents dating back to 2001 and 2003.

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey's office charged the 44-year-old with three counts of "rape by force or fear." "If convicted as charged, the defendant faces a possible maximum sentence of 45 years to life in state prison," the district attorney's office said in a statement.

The complaint accuses him of raping a 23-year-old woman in 2001. He is also charged with committing two other assaults in 2003, one against a 28-year-old woman in April, and another against a 23-year-old woman between October and December of that year.



The case will be prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller of the Sex Crimes Division, who stated that all of the alleged rapes occurred at the actor's Hollywood Hills home.

Prosecutors noted that they declined to file sexual assault charges against Masterson in two other cases, "one for insufficient evidence and the other based upon the statute of limitations for the crime alleged."


Masterson has been held on $3.3 million bail. He is represented by defense attorney Thomas Mesereau, who previously represented Bill Cosby, Michael Jackson and Mike Tyson against sex crime charges. In a statement to the Associated Press, Mesereau insisted that Masterson is innocent.

“We’re confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify," the attorney said. “Obviously, Mr. Masterson and his wife are in complete shock considering that these nearly 20-year old allegations are suddenly resulting in charges being filed, but they and their family are comforted knowing that ultimately the truth will come out,” Mesereau said. “The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false.”

The criminal complaint doesn't name the victims, but the timeline of the accusations matches those of four women who accused Masterson of sexual assault in 2016 and 2017 as part of the #MeToo movement. Last year, they sued Masterson, along with the Church of Scientology, to which he belongs, alleging that the powerful and secretive organization stalked and intimidated them for coming forward with their police reports. Masterson and Scientology officials all denied wrongdoing.

Masterson responded to the suit with a statement: “This is beyond ridiculous. I’m not going to fight my ex-girlfriend in the media like she’s been baiting me to do for more than two years. I will beat her in court—and look forward to it because the public will finally be able [to] learn the truth and see how I’ve been railroaded by this woman. And once her lawsuit is thrown out, I intend to sue her and the others who jumped on the bandwagon for the damage they caused me and my family.”

In the lawsuit, the women each claim Masterson forced himself on them or took advantage of them when they were intoxicated and unable to consent.

Masterson is set to be arraigned on Sept. 18.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

GrandmaBear

‘We Have Nothing to Fear Except Fear Itself'
It's certainly the system that I have a problem with. One which has totally redefined rape to include as "victims" those who have consensual sexual encounters they later regret. 'Well, she had a few drinks, so she couldn't really consent. He was her supervisor at work, so she didn't feel she could really say no. He was rich/influential/famous, so there was a power differential; that's not really consent, she was taken advantage of. And she was only 24 years old'...etc. 'She continued to have a sexual relationship with him and couldn't come forward for 15 YEARS because (insert excuse here)'...

Right, it's apples and oranges to the Masterson case. He's a public figure whose livelihood is dependent upon public perception, and I think that's a key point. And importantly, these are criminal charges. The court doesn't decide the merits of the case, the DA does that alone. Any notable person could fall prey to a couple of ex-lovers with an axe to grind or dollar signs dancing in their eyes.
Yep. It is the system. The DA does decide whether to bring a case when it is criminal. And D.A.'s are elected so if wise and they want to keep their job, they do their job. At least they are where I live they are elected, in theory. The court however can dismiss a case and a defense can move to have it dismissed. "Frivolous" cases can be thrown out and have been or one where there is not enough evidence to go forward to my understanding. And as far as a DA charging, it can certainly work and go both ways. In Arbery the first DAs refused to charge anything... No crime... It is an imperfect system no doubt, not sure what system would be better though... As stated before, a notable person has more reason than most to watch what he is doing and who with, etc., you touch on that yourself; perhaps unfair but no more unfair that a woman should feel like what they wear when they leave their homes can bring on an unasked for attack. Such are the ways of the unfair world.

As you said if a father needs to teach a daughter how to watch out for herself and be so limited in what she does to stay safe, these notable men AND women should be taught they too can be "prey" to the wrong type and stay sheltered and limited in what they do no?

Good luck changing the laws, if successful let me know how you did it please, as I have a few of my own I think should be changed but they don't relate to this subject.

I personally don't think all that many women cry wolf as what they often have to go through is hardly worth it; however, I am sure there are some--true though in all things, 11 people may be honest, and 1 is using the system, etc. And again, the highly notable would be prime targets. If females have to overboard watch out for themselves, then so should these men (or women as the case may be)..., tis the world... I hate to admit you are right but yes, if a female should never take a chance neither should a notable person. It is fool's folly to do so... Maybe try always being with their wife, never leaving home, being able to prove they are home...

Back to Masterson or to keep the case in mind, I personally do not find him that notable to be singled out but I guess it could be... I truly had to look up who he even was that is how off of my radar he was/is. I actually have watched some time ago a fair amount of the Ranch but never finished. Interesting that he and Ashton both were in the 70s show and more recently The Ranch. I knew Ashton's name but not Masterson's because he never stood out to me in anything... Quite honestly the only reason Ashton was better known to me is his relationship with Demi and being with someone A List sure made his name known... Other than that, the 70s show first (couldn't tell ya either name) and while it had a funny second or two, NOT minute, no exaggeration, I found it extremely stupid as I did their characters. The ONLY reason I ever even saw it was it was on local and the only thing on at the time.

Sidetracking there though, just pointing out to me he is not a prime pick of "notable".

As far as effects, that is up to who employs him, if they want to employ him and if people want to watch him... When it comes to Hollywood and acting anyhow... Again, tis the way it is... His fans or lack of them can make or break him... OJ was found not guilty but no one wanted to employ him nor would touch him for the most part... I wouldn't watch him nor buy a product he endorsed nor anything else if he was given that opportunity and that is my choice...

This particular case, I actually do not have an entirely formed opinion on. Apparently the decision was made there was enough to charge it and now it is up to the legal process. I am also keeping in mind that quite often we do not know the strength of a case and all that they do have until it starts to unfold... Quite often they have far more and sometimes a whole lot more than we think.

All jmo.
 

kdg411

Administrator
Staff member
No I didn't, because as I stated earlier, I already understand the reasons women don't come forward immediately. We're discussing a case where the allegations are 15+ years old. If you want to offer a reasonable explanation as to why a woman would wait more than 15 years to accuse her ex-boyfriend of rape, I'm willing to listen.
I couldn't agree more with this. The statute of limitations for rape from 15 years ago has expired, correct? Why now? Who/what is to gain?

And secondly, I give pause to this case because of Leah Remini's public involvement. Would this be headline news if the Church of Scientology wasn't being associated with these alleged crimes?
 

Howell

Active member
I couldn't agree more with this. The statute of limitations for rape from 15 years ago has expired, correct? Why now? Who/what is to gain?

And secondly, I give pause to this case because of Leah Remini's public involvement. Would this be headline news if the Church of Scientology wasn't being associated with these alleged crimes?
Bingo. You're very insightful. Ultimately, this is not a case about some girl who feels she was raped by her boyfriend 15 years ago. Ordinarily, the DA would dismiss such a case out of hand. This is being pursued only because Masterson is a notable member of the COS.
 

kdg411

Administrator
Staff member
Mesereau spoke as the judge was considering requests to allow media cameras in court, which he approved.

Mesereau argued that the media presence would be unfairly prejudicial to Masterson and taint potential jurors.

“We want to do anything we can to tone down the cameras and the circus-like atmosphere that have pervaded this case," the attorney said. “We're just trying to protect his rights.”

Superior Court Judge Miguel T. Espinoza also denied a request from the defense for a protective order sealing case files and preventing police, prosecutors and potential witnesses from revealing case information to the media, but said he would reconsider similar request later.

The defense has filed documents asking the criminal complaint against Masterson be thrown out as insufficient. A hearing on the issue will be held before Masterson is asked to enter a plea.

*(MOO this statement should't be taken lightly.)
Tom Mesereau, a member of his legal counsel, declared the charges filed against Masterson by Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey are based on events that took place nearly 20 years ago, and further claimed they were applied out of pressure to prosecute Masterson as Lacey faces an election, as well as the result of unfair hype from media outlets.
 

Howell

Active member
Mesereau spoke as the judge was considering requests to allow media cameras in court, which he approved.

Mesereau argued that the media presence would be unfairly prejudicial to Masterson and taint potential jurors.

“We want to do anything we can to tone down the cameras and the circus-like atmosphere that have pervaded this case," the attorney said. “We're just trying to protect his rights.”

Superior Court Judge Miguel T. Espinoza also denied a request from the defense for a protective order sealing case files and preventing police, prosecutors and potential witnesses from revealing case information to the media, but said he would reconsider similar request later.

The defense has filed documents asking the criminal complaint against Masterson be thrown out as insufficient. A hearing on the issue will be held before Masterson is asked to enter a plea.

*(MOO this statement should't be taken lightly.)
I have no qualms with cameras being in the courtroom, but I think a strict gag order in this case would be appropriate. The media coverage thus far has been irresponsible enough.
 

kdg411

Administrator
Staff member
I have no qualms with cameras being in the courtroom, but I think a strict gag order in this case would be appropriate. The media coverage thus far has been irresponsible enough.
The 1st sentence in that article also stands out.
Danny Masterson, who was recently charged in the rape of three women, made his first court appearance on Friday in a courtroom where his attorney maintained his innocence and claimed that the charges against him were “politicized.”

I'm still waiting for a an official reading of the charges. If you find it posted anywhere please let me know.
 

Howell

Active member
Just sharing the article. Don't shoot the messenger.

Thanks for the update, GB.
This is a fairly nuanced case from a legal standpoint. As I mentioned earlier, I was unsure how this case could even proceed given the statute of limitations, but now I understand their angle. The State argued on Monday that because these alleged offenses fall under California's "One Strike" law(enacted in 1994), the statute of limitations does not apply. The judge agreed, so I guess we're going to trial.
 

GrandmaBear

‘We Have Nothing to Fear Except Fear Itself'
Thanks for the update, GB.
This is a fairly nuanced case from a legal standpoint. As I mentioned earlier, I was unsure how this case could even proceed given the statute of limitations, but now I understand their angle. The State argued on Monday that because these alleged offenses fall under California's "One Strike" law(enacted in 1994), the statute of limitations does not apply. The judge agreed, so I guess we're going to trial.
It does look that way. I did figure it was something to do with no statute of limitations, I know it has changed in some types of cases and I will be the first to say I am unfamiliar with the various laws in other states in many cases. Clearly, the prosecution must have known they had a good basis or at least a "leg to stand on" in an argument, one could say. And it is proceeding so...
 

Forum statistics

Threads
1,528
Messages
51,137
Members
279
Latest member
Clarice
Top