LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles prosecutors are planning a new trial on three rape charges after the jury was in a helpless stalemate at the first trial in November.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced the prosecutor’s plan in court filings and at a hearing on Tuesday. There, Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo denied the defense’s motion to dismiss the charges.
Prosecutors used a previous jury to convict on either count against Masterson, who was charged with raping three women, including his ex-girlfriend, in his home from 2001 to 2003. The move came despite not being able to convict even half of the members.
“We are delighted that Danny Masterson will not simply be allowed to escape criminal liability,” two of the three women and the husband of one said in a joint statement issued through their attorneys. After suffering years of intimidation and harassment, we are fully committed to participating in the upcoming criminal trial.”
The Associated Press typically does not name people who say they have been sexually abused.
A judge has tentatively set a retrial to begin in late March.
Masterson, 46, did not comment to reporters outside the courtroom after Tuesday’s hearing, and his attorney did not respond to an email seeking comment.
He has pleaded not guilty, and his lawyers say the whole act was consensual.
The Church of Scientology, of which Masterson is a member, and which was attended by all three female former members, played a major role in the month-long trial. Prosecutors said the church had been discouraged from going public for years, but the church denies that.
The indictment dates from 1998 to 2006, when Masterson was at the height of his fame, starring as Stephen Hyde on Fox’s That ’70s Show. The show made stars Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and Topher Grace, and has his Netflix reboot set for “That ’90s Show.”
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