Rape allegations in opposition to actor Danny Masterson have been so riddled with contradictions and inconsistencies that prosecutors of their case implicated the Church of Scientology to assist patch holes in its case, a defence lawyer stated Tuesday in closing arguments.
“When there are contradictions and inconsistencies – blame it on others,” lawyer Phillip Cohen stated. “We heard Scientology so typically that it actually turned the go-to excuse.”
All three accusers and Masterson have been members of the church on the time of the allegations twenty years in the past when the actor was on the top of his fame on the sitcom That ‘70s present, and Scientology loomed giant within the trial in Los Angeles Superior Court docket.
“There are not any prices in opposition to Scientology however you may’t keep away from it,” Deputy District Lawyer Reinhold Mueller stated in his rebuttal argument.
Mueller stated the ladies delayed reporting the allegations as a result of church guidelines prevented them from going to regulation enforcement and in the event that they advised anybody else about what occurred, they might be ostracized.
Whereas Masterson stays a member of the church, the three ladies should not. They have been afraid to testify as a result of they’d been subjected to harassment, intimidation and stalking after they reported the crimes, Mueller stated.
If the statements by the ladies have been all constant then it will have indicated they have been scripted, Mueller stated. He stated inconsistencies typically come up when victims of sexual assault need to relive their ordeals when chatting with police for the primary time.
“They’re having to succeed in inside themselves and pull out that ache and trauma that they’ve had buried inside themselves,” Mueller stated. “You could discover some inconsistencies there.”
Masterson, carrying a brown tweed swimsuit, regarded on the jury from the defence desk with no seen response. His spouse, actor and mannequin Bijou Phillips, sat behind him on the entrance of the gallery, together with a number of of his members of the family and associates.
Jurors have been despatched to deliberate briefly on the finish of the day earlier than adjourning. The panel of seven ladies and 5 males return to court docket Wednesday morning.
Masterson, 46, faces three counts of forcible rape. If convicted, he may very well be sentenced as much as 45 years in state jail.
The ladies testified that Masterson raped them in his Hollywood Hills dwelling between 2001 and 2003. The defence stated the acts have been consensual.
Testimony by the ladies – all known as Jane Does 1-3 – was graphic and emotional. One girl, a good friend of Masterson’s private assistant, stated she had vomited and handed out after he gave her a combined drink. She stated she returned to consciousness to seek out Masterson having tough and painful intercourse along with her.
A former girlfriend of Masterson stated she woke as much as discover him having intercourse along with her when she hadn’t consented.
Masterson didn’t testify and his lawyer introduced no defence proof, as a substitute specializing in how the tales of the ladies had modified over time.
“The important thing to this case isn’t once they reported it,” Cohen stated. “It’s what they stated once they reported it. What they stated after they reported it. And what they stated at trial.”
He stated prosecutors depiction of Masterson as a “commanding scary, abusive monster” was undermined by testimony by his former girlfriend who stated she willingly had intercourse with him after the alleged rapes.
“I get the theme: Paint Danny as a monster. However while you take a look at the precise testimony it tells us one thing totally different,” Cohen stated. “That is the issue while you begin veering from the reality.”
Mueller advised jurors to stay to the proof and to not be swayed by what he referred to as hypothesis by the defence.
He mocked a press release Cohen made when he advised jurors they may acquit Masterson in the event that they thought he “truly and fairly believed” the ladies consented to having intercourse.
Mueller stated no person would imagine the acts described have been consensual. He reminded them that one girl repeatedly advised Masterson “no,” pulled his hair and tried to get out from below him.
One other girl stated Masterson helped her throw up by placing his finger down her throat, then advised her she was disgusting and made her bathe as a result of she had vomit it in her hair, Mueller stated.
“Then he places her in mattress, flips her over and has his approach along with her,” Mueller stated. “There’s not an inexpensive perception [she] consented. Completely not.”