HomeNewsJury deliberations begin in Daniel Masterson rape trial

Jury deliberations begin in Daniel Masterson rape trial

LOS ANGELES — The destiny of “That ’70s Present” star Danny Masterson is within the arms of a jury.

The panel composed of seven girls and 5 males started its first full day of deliberations Wednesday, a day after Masterson’s protection crew and prosecutors made their closing arguments within the intently watched trial in Los Angeles County Superior Court docket.

Masterson, who’s charged with three counts of forcible rape, selected to not testify and sat principally silently by way of 4 weeks of testimony, together with usually graphic accounts from the three girls who say he raped them at his Hollywood Hills dwelling from 2001 to 2003.

Over the objections of Masterson’s legal professionals, Superior Court docket Choose Charlaine F. Olmedo allowed the jury to listen to testimony from a fourth accuser, an actress recognized as Jane Doe #4, who mentioned the actor raped her twice greater than twenty years in the past after they’d met on a film set. 

Masterson shouldn’t be charged with raping that lady. In contrast to his different accusers, Jane Doe #4 was by no means a member of the Church of Scientology, which Masterson nonetheless belongs to. 

However Jane Doe #4’s testimony mirrored in some ways the testimony of the three girls Masterson is charged with raping. And Olmedo allowed her to testify after Deputy District Legal professional Reinhold Mueller argued that Masterson’s protection lawyer Philip Cohen opened the door to her testimony by suggesting that Masterson’s three different accusers had colluded towards him.

The 46-year-old actor, who has pleaded not responsible and stays free on $3.3 million bail, has denied all of the allegations towards him. If convicted on all counts, he may withstand 45 years in jail.

Mueller on Tuesday used a display arrange within the courtroom and a PowerPoint presentation as a visible assist to bolster his argument for Masterson’s guilt. 

Whereas Masterson and his household and movie star mates like Billy Baldwin and sister-in-law Chyna Phillips appeared on within the packed chamber, Mueller went over the testimony of all of the accusers and defined the regulation and why that meant jurors wanted to carry the actor accountable. 

“Present him that no really means no,” Mueller mentioned. “That’s going to be your energy.” 

Mueller additionally took intention at Cohen’s suggestion that Masterson’s accusers colluded towards him.

“Is he suggesting that these victims are mendacity?” Mueller mentioned of Cohen. “Is he suggesting that they’ve gotten collectively and determined they’re now going to make a case towards Masterson? As a result of if that’s the path he’s going, there’s no proof of that.”

Cohen additionally used visible aids in his argument that Masterson was harmless and likewise identified what he mentioned had been contradictions within the testimony of the ladies, all of whom had been recognized as Jane Does. 

Olmedo made it clear at the beginning of the trial that Scientology was not a defendant. However the decide allowed testimony by two of Masterson’s accusers who mentioned they had been rebuffed after they instructed Scientology officers he had raped them.

Those self same girls additionally testified they had been subjected to stalking and different acts of retaliation by members of the church after they reported the allegations to police.

Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw has denied these allegations and insisted that church doctrine requires members to “abide by all of the legal guidelines of the land.”

In his closing assertion, Cohen instructed the jury that, by their depend, Scientology was talked about some 700 instances through the trial. 

“It turned about Scientology,” Cohen mentioned.

Based in 1952 by the science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology asserts in its official statements of beliefs that man is an immortal non secular being with limitless capabilities, and it provides, for a value, one-on-one “auditing” and courses designed to assist members obtain a “clear” non secular state. It strongly opposes the science of psychiatry as “disastrous.”

Dua Anjum and Diana Dasrath reported from Los Angeles, and Corky Siemaszko from New York Metropolis.

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