Danny Masterson will go to trial, again, for rape case after November mistrial

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Danny Masterson will have to return to court to resolve his rape case after a judge declared a mistrial in November.

On Wednesday, Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller denied a request to throw the case away and confirmed there will be a retrial.

"Our office has decided to retry this case," Mueller told the courtroom, according to Variety. "Not giving these victims another chance with a jury who can sit there and consider all of the evidence — win, lose or draw – that would be an injustice."

Judge Charlaine Olmedo expressed a desire to pursue justice in a statement during the hearing, according to The Wrap. "Mr. Masterson is charged with multiple counts of serious and violent felonies – forcible rapes. If true and Masterson is convicted, society would not only be protected from a violent felon, and should be protected from a violent felon," Olmedo said.

Danny Masterson will be retried for three counts of rape after his case ended in a mistrial on Nov. 30.
Danny Masterson will be retried for three counts of rape after his case ended in a mistrial on Nov. 30.

Danny Masterson trial for rape case ends: What was he accused of? More questions answered

Masterson's defense attorney Philip Cohen filed a motion to have the rape charges tossed after a judge announced a retrial date for March. "The jury focused on the most relevant evidence - the testimony and prior statements of the Jane Does – and a strong majority reasonably concluded that this critical evidence established reasonable doubt," Cohen said in paperwork obtained by Deadline and Law & Crime last week. "The contradictory nature of their trial testimony is not going to credibly change."

During the hearing Tuesday, Olmedo pointed out that prosecutors only called 16 out of 36 potential witnesses and thus "a different outcome at a retrial is at least a possibility," the judge said, per Variety. A retrial date has been set for March 29, beginning with jury selection

USA TODAY has reached out to Cohen for comment.

Jurors were deadlocked in debate after the weekslong trial came to a close on Nov. 30. Opening statements were read Oct. 18. Mueller described alleged accounts of the women becoming woozy and passing out before regaining consciousness to find Masterson having sex with them.

And while Masterson's defense attorney urged jurors not to consider the actor's affiliation with Scientology and its relationship to the case, Mueller argued it helped explain why the women waited so long to report the incidents.

Danny Masterson rape case declared mistrial after jurors 'hopelessly deadlocked,' judge rules

Why was Danny Masterson's rape case declared a mistrial?

Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo had ordered jurors to take Thanksgiving week off and keep deliberating after they said on Nov. 18 that they could not reach a consensus. The jury began deliberations anew on Nov. 28 after two alternates replaced jurors who had COVID-19.

“I find the jurors hopelessly deadlocked,” Olmedo declared after inquiring whether there was anything the court could do to move them closer to reaching a unanimous decision.

Jurors said they had voted seven times over the course of two days without being able to reach a consensus on any of the three counts.

Two of the alleged victims in the case issued a statement saying they were disappointed “Masterson has evaded criminal accountability for his deplorable acts. However, we are collectively resolved to continue our fight for justice.”

Danny Masterson and his wife Bijou Phillips left the court house hand-in-hand after a judge declared a mistrial in his rape case.
Danny Masterson and his wife Bijou Phillips left the court house hand-in-hand after a judge declared a mistrial in his rape case.

Alleged victim testifies: Danny Masterson accuser alleges 2003 rape, says actor choked her

What is Danny Masterson accused of?

Masterson is charged with three counts of rape by force or fear, which could mean up to 45 years in prison if convicted. The alleged incident took place with three women between 2001 and 2003 in his home, which functioned as a social hub when he was at the height of his fame. Masterson has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

One of the women had been Masterson’s longtime girlfriend. At last year’s preliminary hearing, she testified that they were five years into a relationship when she woke to Masterson raping her one night in 2001.

Another, a onetime friend of Masterson’s who had been born into Scientology, testified that in 2003, he had taken her upstairs from the hot tub at his Los Angeles home and raped her in his bedroom.

The third woman said Masterson raped her on a night in 2003 after texting her to come to his house. She testified she had set boundaries and was clear there was to be no sex.

All three were members of the Church of Scientology, as Masterson still is. All three accusers have since left, and they said the church’s insistence that it deal internally with problems between members made them hesitant at first to go to authorities.

Masterson’s friend, unhappy with the way the Scientology ethics board handled her complaint about him, filed a police report in 2004 that didn’t result in charges. In 2016, she connected and shared stories with the woman who says she was raped while in a relationship with Masterson. Each would file a police report that year. Masterson’s former girlfriend said she did so after telling her story to her husband, who helped her understand that she had been raped. The third woman went to police in 2017.

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Contributing: Maria Puente, Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY; Andrew Dalton, The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Danny Masterson rape case will go to court again following mistrial