Celebrity Scientologists may take the stand during Danny Masterson rape trial from October 18
WARNING: This article contains details of incidents of sexual assault that some readers may find traumatic. Discretion is advised
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Opening statements in the Danny Masterson rape trial are set to begin October 18, and could last five weeks as Hollywood celebrities linked to Scientology, such as Lisa Marie Presley, may take the stand.
Masterson, a member of the Church of Scientology, is facing three charges of forcible rape. The 'That’s ’70s Show' actor is alleged to have sexually assaulted three women in different incidents between 2001 and 2003.
According to the NY Post, one of the survivors is Cedric Bixler-Zavala's wife, Christina Bixler. In an incident in December 2001, Bixler said she and Masterson had gone to dinner and she had one or two glasses of wine. Her next recollection was waking up naked the next morning, her entire body in pain.
Bixler testified, “I asked him, ‘What happened last night?’ I said I didn’t have any memory,” adding, “I said, ‘I don’t know what’s wrong but my bottom is injured. (Danny) laughed at me and said he had sex with me there. And I asked him if I was unconscious and he said, ‘Yes.’ And I said, ‘The whole time?’ And he said, ‘Yes.'”
Bixler, her husband, Marie Bobette Riales and two other victims claimed they were “systematically stalked” after they reported the assault to the authorities. Another victim, Jane Doe 1, only identified as “Jen B” said Masterson took her to a bathroom inside his home and assaulted her.
According to the prosecution’s trial brief obtained by NY Post, the victims were provided spiked drinks and were in and out of consciousness while the actor allegedly raped them.
Jan Doe 1 and her connection to Lisa Marie Presley
It was revealed that Lisa Marie was a friend of one of Masterson's accusers identified as Jane Doe 1. During her testimony at the preliminary hearing in 2021, Jane referred multiple times to a “Lisa” as a friend. “My friend Lisa had someone named Luke who lived and worked with her who was close to Danny…Luke Watson,” Jane Doe 1 testified.
During her testimony, Doe claimed that Masterson forcibly raped her on April 25, 2003. Presley is speculated to be the “Lisa” Jane Doe 1 referred to during her testimony.
The prosecutors wrote in a trial brief, “Subsequently, defendant pulled Jen B out of the shower toward his bed and hoisted her onto his bed. Jen B passed out after being put onto the bed. When she regained consciousness, she was on her back with the defendant on top of her penetrating her vagina with his penis. Jen B reached for the defendant’s hair to pull him off. She also grabbed a pillow that was behind her neck and pushed it towards the defendant’s face to push him off. Defendant pushed the pillow back onto Jen B’s face as he continued to penetrate her vagina.”
On Monday, October 17, defense attorney Philip Cohen asked potential jurors about Scientology. He said, “I only have one question for you as a group,” adding, “Mr. Masterson is a Scientologist. The three women, alleged victims were Scientologists at the time of the incidents. Does Mr. Masterson’s former and current relationship, involvement and status as a Scientologist have any impact on how you view him with respect to the government’s burden of proving charges? This is something I really need to know,” per the NY Post.
The women also alleged that when they reported the actor to Scientology officials, they were refrained from going to the authorities and were threatened to be labeled as a “suppressive person” in the Church. This would mean they would have no contact with their family or friends who are members.
Meanwhile, Danny, 46, has denied all of the charges. If convicted, he could face 45 years in prison.