Danny Masterson’s rape retrial begins: A look at the case 6 years in the making

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Danny Masterson is back on trial for sexual assault, more than four months after a mistrial was declared. A jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict in November, but prosecutors vowed to re-try the case despite six men and six women leaning towards acquittal. The That ’70s Show star is charged with forcibly raping three women from 2001 to 2003 and has maintained his innocence.

One presence that will loom large again over the trial is the Church of Scientology as Masterson is one of its highest-ranking members. Three of his accusers are former Scientologists who claim they were harassed and threatened by church officials after coming forward. A judge ruled the women will be allowed to discuss how their fear of Scientology played a role in how they handled reporting, or not reporting, the alleged attacks to police. As jury selection begins on Monday, it’s expected prospective jurors will be asked about their views on the church as well as the #MeToo movement, just as both topics were big last year.

Masterson’s rape case has been six years in the making. Here’s how we got here.

March 2017

The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed they launched an investigation after three women reported being sexually assaulted by Masterson in the early 2000s. A rep for the actor, who was starring in Netflix’s The Ranch at the time, denied the allegations and noted one of the accusers was his “longtime girlfriend.” Masterson’s spokesperson insinuated this was part of an anti-Scientology crusade and called out ex-Scientologist, Leah Remini.

Content retrieved from: https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/danny-masterson-rape-trial-sexual-assault-140401088.html.

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