After nearly three days in deliberation, the jury on Danny Masterson’s rape trial in Los Angeles has not yet reached a verdict, and the jurors have been ordered to return to continue deliberating the week after Thanksgiving.
Lawyers gave their closing statements earlier this week, and the jury started deliberations on Wednesday At 1:40 p.m. on Friday, the jury told the court it was unable to reach unanimous decisions on any of the three forcible rape charges that Masterson faces. Judge Charlaine Olmedo, however, said the jury had been deliberating for “an insufficient amount of time” to reach that conclusion, and because five jurors have scheduling issues with Thanksgiving next week, deliberation will continue in 10 days.
Masterson’s attorney Philip Cohen objected to the court’s ruling over concerns that given the high-profile nature of the trial, the jury would be at risk of exposure to the case during the extended break with families during the holiday. Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller agreed with the court, stating that the jury hasn’t had enough time to determine if it could reach a unanimous verdict. Olmedo denied Cohen’s motion, stating that “it’s not unusual for trials to take a break for the holidays,” and that the court has thoroughly admonished the jury to avoid talking about or consuming any media related to the trial.
Masterson was charged in 2020 and faces 45 years to life in prison if convicted on the three counts. For a month, four women attached to the three charges gave intense testimonies detailing allegations that the That ’70s Show star raped them while they were intoxicated, asleep or in and out of consciousness. While the Church of Scientology isn’t on trial in the case, the organization has been the most prominent topic outside of the charges themselves, with the witnesses commenting on how the organization and its policies made them scared to bring the allegations forward. Masterson is a prominent Scientologist, and the three women attached to the charges are former members of the Church of Scientology.
The Church of Scientology called the women’s testimonies falsehoods. Masterson denied the allegations and opted not to testify for the trial.
The jury will resume deliberations on Nov. 28.