In June of 2020, actor Danny Masterson was charged with three counts of rape, having been accused of sexually assaulting three women between 2001-2003. The That ‘70s Show star, who has pleaded not guilty—and is currently free on $3.3 million bail—faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted. The case was initially set to go to trial on August 29, but Masterson’s team won a six-week delay to October 11.
Complicating matters is Masterson’s status as a prominent member of the Church of Scientology. In 2019, four women, three of whom are former Scientologists, filed a lawsuit against Masterson and the Church of Scientology, claiming that they fell victim to a cycle of harassment and intimidation by the Church in an apparent effort to keep their stories of sexual assault under wraps. They’re suing them for stalking, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The Church of Scientology, meanwhile, has lost at its attempt at submitting the accusers to religious arbitration within the Church of Scientology, with a California Appeals Court ruling that the women had a First Amendment right to leave the religion and were therefore not bound to Scientology’s stringent lifelong contracts. The Church of Scientology has since petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider.
One of Masterson’s rape accusers, Jane Doe 1, has grown frustrated by what she perceives as the Masterson team’s attempts at delaying the criminal trial People v. Masterson. Attorney Nina L. Hawkinson, who is representing Jane Doe 1, emailed a statement on Thursday night to The Daily Beast regarding attorney Shawn Holley’s recent request for a trial continuance in People v. Masterson on account of their being busy representing Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Trevor Bauer in his arbitration appeal of his two-year suspension by Major League Baseball after being accused of assault by several women.
Hawkinson believes that Holley’s request for a trial continuance in People v. Masterson impedes several provisions of Marsy’s Law—or the California Victims’ Bill of Rights Act of 2008—which is meant to grant protective rights to victims of crimes, arguing that “it is reasonable to assert that Jane Doe 1 is at great risk of further harm, should this matter be delayed, by being known to the ‘Church’ and classified as a suppressive person, as a victim witness set to testify against a well–known member of the Church. As a Marsy’s Law victim, our client has a right to be free from this harm, which can only be accomplished by no further delay and proceeding to trial.”
“My life has been tortured for so many years as a result of what happened to me. Finally, the day of justice was coming and now I see there is another excuse to delay justice, which will only cause greater damage to me and the other victims.”
The missive from Hawkinson also included the following statement from Jane Doe 1:
“My life has been tortured for so many years as a result of what happened to me. Finally, the day of justice was coming and now I see there is another excuse to delay justice, which will only cause greater damage to me and the other victims. I hope the Court sees that the matters in this trial, the rights of the victims, and the need for finality of this important matter, trump a scheduling conflict related to baseball.”
In May of 2021, Jane Doe 1 delivered harrowing testimony during a preliminary hearing to determine if Masterson would stand trial on rape charges. She said that while attending a party at Masterson’s Hollywood home in April 2003, she felt drugged after consuming a “fruity” drink given to her by Masterson; then, she says he unzipped her pants and tossed her into a jacuzzi, before bringing her upstairs to a bathroom. She recalled having difficulty seeing and staying upright, as Masterson put his fingers in her mouth, causing her to vomit, and then placed her in the shower.
“I looked down and his hands were on my breasts. He was soaping my breasts,” she testified. “I punched him. It wasn’t very strong. I couldn’t believe his hands were on my breasts.”
She testified that he then put her on a bed as she was losing consciousness.
“When I came to, he was on top of me and he was inside of me,” she said. “The first thing I recall is grabbing his hair to pull him off.”
Jane Doe 1 told the court that Masterson raped her vaginally and anally, at one point retrieving a pistol from his nightstand, brandishing it in front of her, and saying, “Don’t fucking move…Don’t say a word.”