LOS ANGELES (AP) — 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 protection lawyer mentioned Tuesday in closing arguments.
“When there are contradictions and inconsistencies — blame it on others,” legal professional Phillip Cohen mentioned. “We heard Scientology so usually that it actually grew to become 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 peak of his fame on the sitcom “That ’70s present,” and Scientology loomed massive within the trial in Los Angeles Superior Courtroom.
“There are not any expenses in opposition to Scientology however you’ll be able to’t keep away from it,” Deputy District Legal professional Reinhold Mueller mentioned in his rebuttal argument.
Mueller mentioned the ladies delayed reporting the allegations as a result of church guidelines prevented them from going to legislation 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 girls should not. They have been afraid to testify as a result of that they had been subjected to harassment, intimidation and stalking after they reported the crimes, Mueller mentioned.
If the statements by the ladies have been all constant then it might have indicated they have been scripted, Mueller mentioned. He mentioned inconsistencies usually come up when victims of sexual assault need to relive their ordeals when talking to police for the primary time.
“They’re having to achieve inside themselves and pull out that ache and trauma that they’ve had buried inside themselves,” Mueller mentioned. “It’s possible you’ll discover some inconsistencies there.”
Masterson, sporting a brown tweed go well with, regarded on the jury from the protection 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 relations and mates.
Jurors have been despatched to deliberate briefly on the finish of the day earlier than adjourning. The panel of seven girls and 5 males return to courtroom Wednesday morning.
Masterson, 46, faces three counts of forcible rape. If convicted, he could possibly be sentenced as much as 45 years in state jail.
The ladies testified that Masterson raped them in his Hollywood Hills residence between 2001 and 2003. The protection mentioned the acts have been consensual.
Testimony by the ladies — all known as Jane Does 1-3 — was graphic and emotional. One lady, a good friend of Masterson’s private assistant, mentioned she had vomited and handed out after he gave her a blended drink. She mentioned she returned to consciousness to search out Masterson having tough and painful intercourse together with her.
A former girlfriend of Masterson mentioned she woke as much as discover him having intercourse together with her when she hadn’t consented.
Masterson didn’t testify and his lawyer offered no protection proof, as a substitute specializing in how the tales of the ladies had modified over time.
“The important thing to this case just isn’t after they reported it,” Cohen mentioned. “It’s what they mentioned after they reported it. What they mentioned after they reported it. And what they mentioned at trial.”
He mentioned prosecutors depiction of Masterson as a “commanding scary, abusive monster” was undermined by testimony by his former girlfriend who mentioned she willingly had intercourse with him after the alleged rapes.
“I get the theme: Paint Danny as a monster. However while you have a look at the precise testimony it tells us one thing totally different,” Cohen mentioned. “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 known as hypothesis by the protection.
He mocked a press release Cohen made when he advised jurors they may acquit Masterson in the event that they thought he “really and fairly believed” the ladies consented to having intercourse.
Mueller mentioned no person would imagine the acts described have been consensual. He reminded them that one lady repeatedly advised Masterson “no,” pulled his hair and tried to get out from underneath him.
One other lady mentioned 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 mentioned.
“Then he places her in mattress, flips her over and has his approach together with her,” Mueller mentioned. “There’s not an inexpensive perception (she) consented. Completely not.”