Danny Masterson’s rape retrial: Key things to know

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Five months after a deadlocked jury led to a mistrial for actor Danny Masterson, the former star of “That ’70s Show” is about to be retried in a Los Angeles court. Masterson is accused of raping three women between 2001 and 2003. He could get 45 years in prison if convicted.

Here’s the key element key elements, characters and issues that will factor into the retrial. Opening statements are set to begin on Monday.


The Church of Scientology loomed large at Masterson’s trial. It could loom larger still in his retrial, with Judge Charlaine Olmedo allowing expert testimony on Scientology that she denied the first time.

Masterson is a prominent member of the church. All three of his accusers are former members who grew disillusioned with the institution in the aftermath of their alleged assaults, saying that the institution and its policies protected Masterson while they found themselves harassed and discouraged from going to authorities. The church has said neither is true.

The two opposing experts set to testify embody the stark cultural divides the church sometimes creates. The prosecution’s expert, Claire Headley, is a former official in Scientology’s leadership group, known as the Sea Org, who became a staunch church foe, suing it in 2009 over her experience. The defense’s expert is Hugh Martin Whitt, a current high-level Scientologist who is Headley’s estranged stepfather.

Content retrieved from: https://www.ctvnews.ca/entertainment/danny-masterson-s-rape-retrial-key-things-to-know-1.6366370.

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