THAT 70s Show star Danny Masterson has been ordered to stand trial by a Los Angeles judge after three women testified he punched, spat or held a gun during some of the alleged rapes.
After the conclusion of the preliminary hearing LA County Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo determined the horrific accounts of three women were credible enough to proceed to a formal trial.
Jennifer, 46, testified that Masterson raped her at his LA home in 2003[/caption]
Danny Masterson arriving at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Downtown LA where three women accuse him of raping them[/caption]
That ’70s Show actor Danny Masterson should stand trial in the rapes of three women[/caption]
Masterson, 45, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he raped three women in separate incidents at his Hollywood home dating back 20 years ago between 2001 and 2003.
His legal team, which includes celeb esquire Thomas Mesereau, who also defended Michael Jackson and Bill Cosby, have pounced on discrepancies in the accusers’ stories.
“Memories fade and memories change,” Masterson attorney Sharon Appelbaum said, according to the Associated Press.
They also placated police, prosecutors and the witnesses themselves as perpetrating an agenda against the Church of Scientology, a religion that was founded in the 1950s by L. Ron Hubbard.
Masterson’s legal team questioned the accusers’ of changing their version of what happened when they reported the alleged rapes to testifying in open court years later[/caption]
Masterson has pleaded not guilty to the rape charges[/caption]
The actor rose to fame playing Hyde on That 70s Show[/caption]
Masterson is a well-known Scientologist.
All three women left the church, according to the AP.
If convicted of the three counts of rape by force or fear, Masterson could be sentenced to as many as 45 years in prison.
In the courtroom, Masterson was visibly unfazed by the judge’s decision while sitting near a group of family and friends, the AP reported.
Masterson is also a member of the Church of Scientology[/caption]
Masterson is married to fellow actress Bijou Phillips[/caption]
If found guilty, Masterson could be sent to prison for 45 years[/caption]
The preliminary hearing offered a glimpse of damning evidence stacked against the actor.
On Tuesday, an accuser known in court by the first name Jennifer to protect her identity recounted how on April 25, 2003, Masterson plied her with a “fruity drink” and then threw her in a hot tub before carrying her to a bed and raped her.
The woman, now 46, remembered lying in the bed and drifting in and out of consciousness just as the actor held up a gun and told her, “Don’t say a f***ing word.”
Jennifer explained that after the alleged rape, she tried to ask permission to report it to the Church of Scientology.
But church officials warned her against doing so because Masterson was reportedly a “member in good standing.”
Masterson posted a photo of him and his wife before a preliminary hearing where he’s accused of raping three women[/caption]
She testified that the church went on to lodge threats to cut Jennifer off from the Scientology community and her family and friends who were faithful members.
Another woman identified only as Christina B. testified in court the following day that she and Masterson were a romantic item for five years.
In once instance, she remembered Masterson routinely consummating sexual acts with her while she slept.
The woman said she didn’t want it but accepted it in the past.
Christina B. testified she pulled Masterson’s prized hair to stop him from raping her and she said he punched her[/caption]
In November 2001, Christina B. claimed she tried to fight and paid the price because she said Masterson started to physically hit her.
“I tried pushing him off me and saying ‘No,’” Christina B. said. “He wouldn’t stop.”
“He wouldn’t stop,” she added.
“So I did something that I knew would make him angry and likely to get off me.”
LA County Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo saw enough evidence during the preliminary trial to move forward with a formal one[/caption]
The woman explained that Masterson was sensitive about his hair, and thus, tried to pull on it to get him to stop the assault.
“I pulled his hair. He has these rules, no-touch hair rule, no-touch face rule,” she said. “He had this thing about his hair, so I knew if I pulled it really, really hard, he would get off me.”
“But what he did was he hit me.”
Three times she said Masterson struck her with a loose fist before he spat at her and called her “white trash.”
The woman said a month after that Masterson raped her while she was unconscious after waking in pain.
The actor’s attorney, Mesereau, argued in court the incident she described was consensual.
He also pointed out that when she reported being raped by Masterson in 2016, she reported the second incident, not the one Masterson was formally charged with.
A third accuser identified as N. Trout testified that Masterson was demanding that she come over to his home after they had spent a night drinking with friends.
“I didn’t understand why he was commanding,” she said, according to the AP. “I thought perhaps he was saying it in a way to be aggressive as a form of flirting. I didn’t understand why he was so aggressive.”
When she relented, she said the evening started out with drinks and then orders by Masterson to shed her clothes for a dip in the hot tub.
“Take them off. If you don’t do it, I’m going to do it. Get them off,” she testified.
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She said she obeyed because “I didn’t want any violence to take place, I didn’t want things to escalate. I was giggling, trying to say ‘No, I don’t want to.’”
Trout claimed to have gone into a foggy state and remembered being taken by Masterson to an upstairs shower where he allegedly raped her then did so again in his bed.
“I was like, ‘Danny what are you doing?’ I said ‘No,’” she testified. “I told you ‘No, you don’t even have a condom on.’”
Mesereau appeared to compare her court testimony with the less detailed version she told cops when she reported the rape in 2017.