Danny Masterson is a member of the Church of Scientology, and his three accusers were at the time of the alleged crimes.
The actor Danny Masterson from “That 70s Show” was accused of three counts of rape, but the court pronounced the case to be a mistrial.
After casting their votes seven times on Tuesday and Wednesday, the jury informed Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo that they were utterly impeached.
The 46-year-old is accused of raping three women in his Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003, one of whom was a former girlfriend.
One of the women was 28 while the other two were 23.
Masterson asserts that the sex was consensual and refutes the accusations.
Initially unable to reach a judgment on November 18, the jury was given a break over Thanksgiving week before being urged to try again.
The foreman reported that two jurors voted for conviction on the first count, four on the second count, and five on the third count. However, two days later, verdicts remained elusive. On Monday, two jurors caught COVID-19, requiring a restart in deliberations.
March will see a new trial.
Both Masterson and his three accusers were Church of Scientology members at the time of the alleged crimes.
Reinhold Mueller, a deputy district attorney, asserted that the church’s efforts to keep the women silent were the reason it took the case two decades to reach trial.
The ladies filed a complaint against the church, claiming that after Masterson was charged, they were stalked, harassed, and intimidated.
Philip Cohen, the attorney representing Masterson, argued that the church’s 700 mentions during the trial were an excuse for the prosecution’s inability to provide a convincing case.
Masterson, who has previously claimed he is being persecuted for belonging to the religion, chose not to testify, and his attorney instead concentrated on discrepancies in the three women’s testimony.
He stated: “The key to this case is not when they disclosed it during closing arguments.
It’s what they said at trial, what they said after reporting it, and what they said when they reported it.
The third woman, the ex-girlfriend, claimed she woke up to find Masterson raping her. Two of the women claimed Masterson offered them drinks, causing them to become lightheaded or pass out before being sexually assaulted.
Mr. Cohen claimed that jurors may exonerate Masterson if they determined that he “really and reasonably believed” the ladies gave their consent, but Mr. Mueller disagreed, stating that no one would accept consent if one of the women kept telling Masterson “no.”
Along with co-stars Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and Topher Grace, Masterson rose to stardom as Steven Hyde on the sitcom That ’70s Show.
He collaborated with Kutcher on the Netflix comedy The Ranch, but his character was removed from the series in late 2017 when it became known that the authorities were looking into him.