When actors go down for bad behavior, they go down hard.
Thus is the tale for “That ’70’s Show” star Danny Masterson.
Three women say he raped them two decades ago, and Masterson will soon face trial over the allegations. All of the key figures in the trial are now current or are former members of the Church of Scientology.
The judge has declared her desire to keep the church from being central in the trial, but it will nonetheless play a role as the stories play out in court. Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo said in a pre-trial hearing, “This is not going to become a trial on Scientology.”
According to the women, he raped them between 2001 and 2003 in his home, which was a social hub during the height of his fame.
Opening statements are expected to start early this week in Los Angeles.
Masterson has pleaded not guilty. His lawyers say that his arrest comes from anti-religious elements in the legal system and police. The women say that they hesitated to come forward while still active members of the Church of Scientology because they feared the repercussions.
It’s impossible to keep the church out of the trial completely – but Masterson is hoping they’ll be able to.