OAN’s Brooke Mallory
4:34 PM – Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Actor Danny Masterson was found guilty on two of the three counts against him by a jury in his rape retrial today.
After the verdicts were announced and the jury was dismissed, Judge Charlaine Olemdo determined that Masterson posed a flight risk. Despite the actor’s attorneys’ demands, he was then handcuffed and hauled into custody with a confused expression on his face. August 4th has been set aside as the chosen date for the following motions hearing in the case.
On the two counts on which he was found guilty, the actor faces 30 years in prison. However, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict regarding the sexual assault allegations against Masterson, much like in the previous trial that came to a close late last year.
Just before 1:50 p.m., the jury announced to the defendant, as well as Judge Olemdo and those in attendance, that they had found Masterson guilty of “forceable rape” of two of the Jane Does, identified as Jen B. and N.T.
However, the jury foreperson conceded that after five votes, the panel was “hopelessly deadlocked” on the third count with a breakdown of eight guilty and four not guilty at the last count, which is still a stinging rebuke to the LA County District Attorney’s office.
The defendant’s former long-term girlfriend, identified as Christina B, also referred to as Jane Doe #3, was the subject of the final count.
Masterson sat expressionless as the findings were announced, looking at the sentences of 15 to life for each offense that he was found guilty of. Masterson’s wife, Bijou Phillips, the daughter of John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas, could be heard sobbing in the courtroom from her seat a short distance away. Family members, including Masterson’s brother-in-law Billy Baldwin, brother of Alec Baldwin, remained in the courtroom after he was carried away, clearly in shock.
After just over a week of deliberations, the Los Angeles jury on Wednesday rendered a partial decision about the “That ’70s Show” star. All three of the Jane Does who were the subject of the charges testified, similarly to the first trial.
The jurors began their deliberations this morning at roughly 10 a.m. after returning from a long weekend holiday. Masterson was present in the crowded courtroom when Judge Olemdo declared that the jury had informed her that they had reached a partial judgment at 11 a.m.
Masterson was detained in 2020 for the alleged assaults that allegedly took place between 2001 and 2003 at his Hollywood Hills home. If he was found guilty on each of the three rape counts in this retrial, the actor could have spent up to 45 years in a California state prison.
The defense called no witnesses for the course of the retrial, which started on April 24th and ended on May 12th. The last response was presented by Deputy LA County Attorney Reinhold Mueller before Judge Olemdo, Masterson, his supporters, and the jury during the closing statements, which began on May 16th and ended early on May 17th.
In contrast to the first trial, the D.A.’s office explicitly highlighted the long-term Scientologist’s suspected role in allegedly spiking the beverages of his victims, who were also all Scientologists at the time of the accused crimes.
Prosecutors attempted to reveal the truth about Masterson’s standing in Scientology by introducing witnesses who had committed prior crimes but were not and never had been Scientologists.
Mueller and fellow Deputy DA Ariel Anson repeatedly referenced the purported policies and practices of the organization that actively sought to discourage the alleged victims from reporting the rapes to the police in an effort to further orient the jurors to the context of Masterson’s alleged misconduct.
Masterson has maintained his innocence and that the intercourse he had with the three women was consensual. He was quickly sacked from the Netflix sitcom “The Ranch” at the end of 2017 after assault allegations finally surfaced, and he has been omitted from the reboot of “That ’90s Show.” On November 30th, the first trial’s jury reached a stalemate following more than five weeks of testimony.
Discussions began late on May 23rd and ended after midnight on May 24th.
The panel on May 25th had requested a read-back of the testimony of Jane Doe #3, also known as Christina B, a former long-term girlfriend of the actor, giving a hint as to what was happening in the jury chamber. The jury also requested to view the chart outlining the various levels of guilt that defense attorney Cohen had displayed earlier in the trial. However, that request was turned down.
Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts