I forgot about this. Back in March, we discussed Danny Masterson, who is likely best known for playing Hyde in That ‘70s Show. Masterson and his brother Chris are well-known Scientologists, and Danny Masterson in particular always had a reputation for being a bit of douche. Anyway, back in March we learned that the LAPD was/is investigating Danny for three separate rape accusations by three different women, all allegedly taking place in the early 2000s. That was seven months ago – how is it that we haven’t heard anything since? How is that no arrest has been made and no charges have been filed? Well, HuffPo explains what’s happening – the case has been thwarted by the Church of Scientology (three of the accusers are or were Scientologists) and some people in the DA’s office seem to be “slow rolling” the investigation. You can read the full HuffPo piece here. Some highlights:
The stalled investigation: A monthslong 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.
The vanishing case file: 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…. 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.
Slow-rolled: In April 2017, police referred the case to the district attorney. Since then, the district attorney’s office has examined the evidence turned over by LAPD and conducted its own investigation. Despite compelling ― what one law enforcement source described as “overwhelming” — evidence, the charges have not been approved for filing. The evidence includes audiotapes, emails sent to and from Scientology officers at the time the alleged rapes happened, forensic computer evidence and a threatening handwritten letter Masterson sent to one of the alleged victims, according to two people with knowledge of the evidence in the district attorney’s possession. Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller is a highly respected prosecutor in the district attorney’s office who is known for his thoroughness and objectivity, which is why two sources in the office are confused that the case, in one source’s words, has been “slow rolled.”
You should read the full HuffPo article – it includes details about how the Church of Scientology closed ranks around Masterson and left the rape victims out in the cold, basically, which is the M.O. of CoS. HuffPo doesn’t have any answers for why the case has been slow-rolled within the DA’s office, there’s only vague conjecture about nefarious Scientology forces at work. Which could be more than possible. I also think it’s possible that: A) Masterson has great legal representation, B) the case is being described as “overwhelming” by the police but I bet it’s mostly circumstantial, with little to no physical evidence and C) Masterson is a white dude and they’re rarely punished by the legal system when they hurt women. Is it Scientology or just good old fashioned misogyny? Little of Column A, little of Column B.
Photos courtesy of WENN.