What happens now in Danny Masterson's rape case? 'That '70s Show' actor's retrial scheduled for March 2023
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: The trial of Danny Masterson, who was accused of three rapes, was declared a mistrial by the court on Wednesday, November 30 after jurors complained that they were profoundly "deadlocked."
The foreman of the Los Angeles jury of six women and six men informed Judge Charlaine Olmedo that they remained "hopelessly deadlocked" after deliberating for three days before Thanksgiving week and returning Monday, November 28 to try to reach a decision once more. The 'That '70s Show' star had entered a not-guilty plea to raping three women between 2001 and 2003 in his Hollywood Hills residence. "We are not even close to coming to a unanimous decision on any of the three counts and are convinced this will not change," the jurors stated in a note that was first read aloud by the judge. The male foreman informed Judge Olmedo that the jury had reached a deadlock and that no more information from the court could persuade them to change their minds. When she asked him how many ballots the jury used, he said that the jurors cast four votes on Wednesday and three on Tuesday.
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The jury foreman was also questioned by the judge regarding the results. He informed her that on count one, the forced rape of Jane Doe 1, there were two votes for guilt and ten votes for acquittal. On count two, the forced rape of Jane Doe 2, four people chose to be found guilty and eight others chose to be found not guilty.
JUST IN: #BNNUS Reports.— Gurbaksh Singh Chahal (@gchahal) December 1, 2022
A judge declared a mistrial on Wednesday in the @dannymasterson rape case after the jury was unable to reach a verdict. #DannyMasterson #US #Crime pic.twitter.com/ID1a5RTLfm
On count three, the forced rape of Jane Doe 3, five people voted guilty and seven voted not guilty. Judge Olmedo stated to the court that the jury was "hopelessly deadlocked" and added, "I am declaring a mistrial." She has set a new hearing for March 6, 2023, and Masterson's second trial date for March 27. 'The Ranch' star is free on a $3.3 million bond.
"I'm so thankful and truly impressed with the time an attention that the jury gave to this case," Philip Cohen, his attorney, said to DailyMail. It will be up to the Los Angeles district attorney to determine whether to pursue trying Masterson again after the mistrial was declared, prosecutor and deputy district attorney Reinhold Mueller told DailyMail.
Here is the first part of Masterson’s lawyer Philip Cohen’s press conference. I will post much more later; things are a little hectic right now with everyone leaving and trying to get photos and updating the story etc etc pic.twitter.com/STfbp8LQ5m— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) December 1, 2022
Mueller said, "At this point we are proceeding in the direction of bringing this case to trial again." However, Cohen informed DailyMail that he would "file a motion to dismiss" if the DA did decide to retry Masterson. "Ten for not guilty, eight for not guilty and seven for not guilty speaks volumes," he said, adding that the district attorney should think twice about retrying the case "in light of the jury's decision."
Cohen remarked, "I think it would be very difficult to find 12 people to convict," given the trial's testimony and evidence. He claimed that Masterson's response to the mistrial was one of "relief - but there's potentially still a fight ahead."
Jane Doe 2, Jane Doe 3, and Jane Doe 3's husband jointly issued a statement on Wednesday, November 30, following the declaration of the mistrial. The statement read, "We would first like to thank the jury for its public service. We are obviously disappointed that, at least for the time being, Daniel Masterson has evaded criminal accountability for his deplorable acts," as reported by DailyMail.
"However, we are collectively resolved to continue our fight for justice, including in civil court, where we have alleged that Mr. Masterson, along with the Church of Scientology, its leader David Miscavige, and others conspired to systematically stalk, harass, and intimidate us when we sought to shed light on Mr. Masterson's actions. This legal fight is far from over, and it is critical that we reckon with Scientology's alleged role in covering up reports of abuse and threatening victims," the statement concluded.
Jane Does 2 and 3's attorney, Alison L Anderson, stated, "Our clients showed tremendous courage in testifying about such personal and horrendous acts in a very public forum and despite persistent harassment and intimidation," as reported by DailyMail.
"They remain hopeful that Mr. Masterson will experience some criminal consequences for his vile conduct and are eager to now pursue their claims in civil court and seek redress for the nightmare they have been made to suffer," Anderson concluded.