Danny Masterson’s rape trial ends in a mistrial verdict of sexual assault

Actor Danny Masterson’s sexual assault trial was declared a mistrial on Wednesday, with the jury unable to reach a unanimous verdict on three counts after several days of deliberation.

The jury told LA Supreme Court Justice Charlaine Olmedo Wednesday afternoon that they were “deeply divided” and could not reach a verdict, according to our sister site Deadline, and the judge formally declared a mistrial shortly thereafter. Masterson faced up to 45 years in prison if found guilty on all charges.

Masterson, known for his work on That 70’s show and the ranch, was charged in June 2020 with three counts of rape by force or fear, relating to separate incidents of sexual assault against three women that allegedly occurred at Masterson’s home between 2001 and 2003. Masterson pleaded not guilty to all three counts in 2021 and the trial began on October 19 of this year; Masterson declined to testify at the trial.

On November 18, after nearly three days of deliberations, the jury told Olmedo that it could not reach a unanimous decision on any of the three counts against Masterson. Olmedo said at the time that the jury had not deliberated long enough to declare a mistrial and ordered deliberations to resume after the Thanksgiving holiday. Then, on November 28, two jurors were replaced by alternates after they tested positive for COVID-19, and Olmedo directed the new panel to restart their deliberations “as if the earlier deliberations had not taken place.” by diversity.

In 2017, Netflix fired Masterson the ranch after being accused of raping four women in the early 2000s. During the finale of Part 5 of the show, his character, Rooster Bennett, was threatened at gunpoint and forced to leave town. Rooster was later killed in part 6 in a freak motorcycle accident.

“I’m obviously very disappointed with Netflix’s decision to write my character off the ranch‘ Masterson said in a statement at the time. “From day one I have denied the outrageous allegations against me. Law enforcement investigated these claims more than 15 years ago and found them to be unfounded… In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, in the current climate, it seems like the moment you are charged, you will be found guilty. I understand and look forward to clearing my name once and for all.”

https://tvline.com/2022/11/30/danny-masterson-mistrial-rape-trial-verdict-sexual-assault/ Danny Masterson’s rape trial ends in a mistrial verdict of sexual assault

Lindsay Lowe

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