A deadlocked jury considering rape accusations against former That ’70s Show star Danny Masterson was dismissed Friday until after the Thanksgiving holiday.
With less than three days of deliberations, the jury of seven women and five men told Judge Charlaine Olmedo of the Los Angeles Superior Court that they remained deadlocked and could not reach a verdict. After deciding three days was not long enough to dismiss the case, Olmedo excused the jury for the Thanksgiving holiday and told them to report back on Nov. 28.
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“It really comes down to a simple analysis — do you believe the women or not?” Philip Cohen, Masterson’s defense attorney, said, according to NBC News. “I don’t think it has been an insufficient amount of time.”
If convicted upon the jury’s return, Masterson faces up to 45 years in prison for the alleged rapes of three unnamed women from 2001-2003. Masterson has denied all charges, claiming the acts were consensual. The accusations were made by three former members of the Church of Scientology, to which Masterson still belongs.
Masterson did not testify in his own trial, nor did the defense call on any witnesses, instead relying on inconsistencies in the women’s stories. The trial concluded Tuesday after three weeks of testimonies.
The jury began its deliberations on Wednesday and asked to see some of the evidence presented during the trial, which was authorized. On Thursday, the jury asked for a transcript of a phone call between Masterson and one of the Jane Does while she was in Florida. The judge allowed the court reporter to read back the phone call.
The actor was arrested in June 2020 on three counts of forcible rape that allegedly occurred at his Hollywood Hills home. However, reports of the rape were made as early as 2017, and Masterson was subsequently dropped from the Netflix comedy The Ranch. Masterson was released on $3.3 million bail shortly after his arrest and has been present at the trial.
A fourth woman has claimed that Masterson raped her, even taking the stand during the trial. However, the unnamed woman has not brought any charges against Masterson, according to NBC.