A choose on Friday stated That ’70s Present actor Danny Masterson should stand trial on three counts of rape.
Los Angeles County Superior Court docket Decide Charlaine F. Olmedo made the dedication within the fourth day of a preliminary listening to the place the prosecution laid out its proof.
That included dramatic and emotional testimony from three ladies who took the stand to say that Masterson raped them in 2001 and 2003.
Olmedo stated she discovered the ladies’s testimony credible for the needs of a preliminary listening to, the place the bar for enough proof is far decrease than at trial.
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Masterson has denied the fees. His lawyer, Thomas Mesereau, stated Masterson had consensual intercourse with the ladies and that he would show his shopper’s innocence. Mesereau declined to touch upon the choose’s choice exterior court docket.
In the course of the listening to, Mesereau repeatedly challenged the ladies on discrepancies of their tales within the years since they stated they have been raped and steered that the prosecution was tainted by anti-religious bias in opposition to the Church of Scientology.
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Masterson is a outstanding Scientologist, all three ladies are former Scientologists and the church and its teachings got here up continually throughout testimony.
The choose stated she discovered the ladies’s explanations credible that church teachings saved them from reporting their accusations to police for years.
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The 45-year-old actor has been free on bail since his June arrest. He’s charged with three counts of rape by drive or concern and will stand up to 45 years in jail if convicted.
The forthcoming trial represents the uncommon prosecution of a Hollywood determine within the #MeToo period regardless of dozens of investigations by police and the Los Angeles district lawyer, most of which have ended with out expenses.
The allegations occurred on the peak of Masterson’s fame, when he starred as Steven Hyde on Fox TV’s retro sitcom That ’70s Present from 1998 to 2006 alongside Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Topher Grace.
Danny Masterson accuser takes stand, recounts particulars of alleged rape
He had reunited with Kutcher on the Netflix Western sitcom The Ranch when the LAPD investigation of him was revealed in March 2017. The information didn’t have fast profession repercussions for Masterson, however later within the 12 months, after allegations in opposition to Harvey Weinstein shook Hollywood, he was written off the present.
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