A months long investigation into multiple allegations of rape against actor Danny Masterson has inexplicably stalled, despite the Los Angeles County district attorney having compelling evidence in the case, multiple sources told HuffPost. Four women have accused Masterson of raping them in the early 2000s.
Masterson is a longtime member of the Church of Scientology, an organization that has a history of covering up allegations of misconduct leveled against the organization and its members. At least three of the women who have accused him of rape were also Scientologists and reported the incidents to the Church of Scientology at the time.
Masterson, star of the sitcom “That ’70s Show,” has denied that he engaged in any sexual misconduct. In May, journalist Tony Ortega revealed that Masterson hired power lawyer Thomas Mesereau to serve as his criminal defense attorney. Bill Cosby also hired Mesereau for a retrial of sexual assault charges in Pennsylvania.
Masterson is also represented by Hollywood litigator Marty Singer, who is also representing film director Brett Ratner in responding to allegations of sexual misconduct that were originally detailed in a Los Angeles Times report.
A spokesperson for Mesereau and a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office both declined to comment.
One of Masterson’s accusers filed a police report in 2004 saying that she was raped in 2003, but the case didn’t move forward after the Church of Scientology intervened and submitted over 50 affidavits from Scientologists who denied the woman’s account. According to a report filed with the Los Angeles Police Department, the woman said Masterson raped her while she was “passed out,” and when she awoke and realized he was raping her, she struggled with him until he choked her and she passed out again.
In Scientology, reporting another Scientologist to law enforcement is considered a “suppressive act” and can lead to immediate expulsion from the organization. The church is known for attacking accusers rather than rebutting the accusations and for efficiently organizing its members to take action against accusers. According to two sources with knowledge of the case, the woman’s case file from 2004 vanished, leaving Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller to reconstruct it.
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