Woman testifies that she was raped by “The ’70’s Show” star Danny Masterson after being drugged by him
On May 18, a woman—identified only as Jen B— testified at a preliminary hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court that she was raped by actor Danny Masterson 18 years ago. She told the judge that Masterson took advantage of her as she was slipping in and out of consciousness that night in 2003. “When I came to [my senses], he was on top of me,” said Jen B. “The first thing I recall is grabbing his hair to pull him off.”
The hearing was conducted so that a judge could decide whether there is probable cause to order a trial for the “That ’70s Show” actor, who has been accused of raping three women. The 45-year-old actor has been charged in a Los Angeles County court with three counts of rape by force or fear and alleged attacks that occurred in 2001 and 2003. Their identities have not been revealed as Associated Press doesn’t name people who could possibly be victims of sexual assault.
Meanwhile, Masterson has pleaded not guilty, and Thomas Mesereau, his lawyer, has said he will prove his client’s innocence. Per Independent, Jen claims she and Masterson were acquaintances and that she was introduced to him through a group of friends who were all involved with the Church of Scientology in the late 1990s and early 2000s. She said that on April 25, 2003, she went to Masterson’s house to pick up a set of keys but was unable to leave.
When she got there, she allegedly asked Masterson for a drink, and for her first drink of the night, he offered her a vodka. However, 20 minutes later, she felt weak and dizzy and was “blurry,” with no strength to resist Masterson when he threw her into his jacuzzi. She was so weak she couldn’t even sit up. A mutual friend, Luke Watson, reportedly tried to help her.
“I couldn’t walk or stand, so he put me on the tile on the ground,” said Jen B., who struggled to remain composed throughout her testimony. “I said, ‘Luke I can’t see,’ and he said, ‘Open your eyes,’ and I didn’t know my eyes were closed. I couldn’t open my eyelids. I felt really, really sick.”
From there, her testimony revealed that Masterson carried her upstairs. She vomited, and he put her into the shower. That’s when she started to fade in and out of consciousness, but when she woke up, she found Masterson soaping her bare breasts. Even though she was debilitated, she tried to punch Masterson in the face, but couldn’t and landed lightly on his chest.
Then, he put her on the bed and raped her. Jen stated she only has flashes of memory of what happened after that. This is a typical trauma response in those who experience assault or violence of any kind, as the brain goes into survival mode trying to cope with the overwhelming event. She said that after she failed to get Masterson off her by pulling his hair, she put a pillow in his face, but he pushed it back on her. He then drew a gun out of his bedside drawer and used it to threaten her.
Masterson’s lawyer Msereau cross-questioned her, asking why the gun wasn’t mentioned in a police report she filed the following year. “Do you think that the police just forgot to put it in?” Mesereau asked. Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo forbade the question after a prosecution objection. Mesereau also asked Jen why there were inconsistencies between her 2004 police report and a 2003 “knowledge report” she filled out about the incident for the church as it tried to mediate between her and Masterson.
She acknowledged there were differences but said she tried to be truthful in every case. Jen did testify that in the days after she was abused, bruises appeared on her wrists and neck area and that she had incredible pain in her genitalia. The victim also revealed that she was discouraged by the Church of Scientology to come forward with it, adding that she would be declared a “suppressive person” if she made any claims against Masterson. “I would lose my family and everyone I knew,” she said, though in June 2004, she did file a police report.
Mesereau said she had “mischaracterized” the Scientology response, and before the hearing, he argued that references to the church or harassment of women by officials and members should not be allowed. He alleged that the prosecution and lead detective in the case had shown “religious bias in the most blatant form.”