Danny Masterson to Be Retried on Rape Charges

Trial of 'That '70s Show' star tentatively set for March
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 11, 2023 1:29 AM CST
Danny Masterson to Be Retried on Rape Charges
Actor Danny Masterson leaves Los Angeles superior Court with his wife Bijou Phillips after a judge declared a mistrial in his rape case in Los Angeles on Nov. 30, 2022.   (AP Photo/Brian Melley, File)

Los Angeles prosecutors will retry That ’70s Show actor Danny Masterson on three rape counts after a hopelessly deadlocked jury led to a mistrial at his first trial in November. The LA County District Attorney's Office declared prosecutors' plans in court filings and at a Wednesday hearing, where Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo rejected a defense motion to dismiss the charges, the AP reports. The move comes despite prosecutors failing to get even half of the previous jury to vote to convict on any of the counts against Masterson, who is charged with the rape of three women, including a former girlfriend, at his home between 2001 and 2003.

“We are pleased that Danny Masterson will not be permitted to simply escape criminal accountability,” two of the three women and the husband of one said in a joint statement released through their attorneys. "Despite suffering years of intimidation and harassment, we are completely committed to participating in the next criminal trial.” The judge tentatively set the retrial to begin in late March. Masterson has pleaded not guilty, and his lawyer has said the acts were all consensual.

The Church of Scientology played a major role during the monthlong trial, with Masterson a member and all three women former members. Prosecutors said the church dissuaded them from going public for years, which the church has denied. The 46-year-old Masterson had no comment to reporters outside court after Tuesday's hearing, and his attorney did not respond to an email requesting comment.

(More Danny Masterson stories.)

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