Woman testifies actor Danny Masterson drugged, sexually assaulted her
LOS ANGELES - A 46-year-old woman struggled to maintain her composure as she told a judge on Tuesday that actor Danny Masterson sexually assaulted her at his home in 2003 after earlier throwing her in a hot tub and fondling her in a shower.
The woman, identified only as Jennifer B., told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo during a preliminary hearing that she drifted in and out of consciousness the night of the incident in April 2003 after Masterson gave her a drink mixed with drugs and vodka.
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"I came to and he was on top of me and he was inside of me," the woman testified. She said she tried to fight Masterson off with a pillow. Later, he took a pistol out of a dresser drawer and waved it in her presence in the way that a gang member would give a gang sign, she said.
Masterson, 45, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he raped three women at his Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003. He is best known for appearing on "That '70s Show" and "The Ranch."
The criminal complaint, filed last June, alleges that Masterson raped a 23-year-old woman between January and December 2001.
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He is also charged with raping the current witness, who was 28 at the time, and a 23-year-old woman he had invited to his home sometime between October and December 2003, according to Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller.
The District Attorney's Office declined to file sexual assault charges against him in two other alleged incidents, citing insufficient evidence on one and the statute of limitations on the other.
In her testimony, Jennifer B. said she met Masterson in the late 1990s or early 2000s through their mutual religion and through acquaintances.
She said Masterson initially was pleasant, but that his attitude changed after he broke up with his girlfriend, prompting him to become more "vulgar." She cited one time when Masterson allegedly exposed himself to her.
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Jennifer B. said she had been to Masterson's home about 20 to 30 times before the night of the alleged assault. She said she had sex with the actor in September 2002 and admitted under cross-examination by Masterson attorney Tom Mesereau that she changed her original claim that the earlier encounter was consensual to now claiming it was not.
Jennifer B. testified the vodka drink left her so groggy that she could not get out of the hot tub after being thrown in by Masterson. She also said she felt sick to her stomach and that her vision was impaired. Masterson took her back inside the home against her will after she began vomiting, she said.
You have to go into the shower, you're disgusting," Masterson said, according to the witness. She said she was angry that the actor fondled her while ostensibly cleaning her "I pushed him in the chest," she said. "I couldn't believe his hands were on my breasts." She said the subsequent alleged sexual assault left her with lingering pain. "I felt like I had been stabbed repeatedly in my vagina," Jennife B. said.
When Masterson reached for the gun, he warned her not to move and waved it around, but he put the weapon away without firing it, she said. Masterson showed no emotion as he listed to Jennifer B.'s testimony.
Jennifer B. said she waited more than a year to report what happened to the LAPD because she feared she would be isolated from her family under Scientology traditions because Masterson was in good standing with the religion. She said she has since left the faith.
Masterson was arrested last June 17 by the Los Angeles Police Department's Robbery-Homicide Division and released about three hours later on a $3.3 million bond.
Shortly after the charges were announced, Mesereau released a statement saying his client "is innocent, and we're confident that he will b exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify."
"Obviously, Mr. Masterson and his wife are in complete shock considering that these nearly 20-year-old allegations are suddenly resulting in charges being filed, but they and their family are comforted knowing that ultimately the truth will come out," Mesereau said then. "The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false."
In December 2017, Netflix announced that Masterson had been fired from the Emmy-winning scripted comedy "The Ranch" amid sexual assault allegations.
The actor said then that he was "very disappointed" and "it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused." He also "denied the outrageous allegations" and said he looked forward to "clearing my name once and for all."
A civil suit was filed in August 2019 against Masterson and the Church of Scientology by four women who allege they were stalked and harassed after filing sexual assault allegations against the actor with Los Angeles police. That case has been sent to arbitration.