Danny Masterson Trial Ends With Hung Jury on All Charges

Danny Masterson's sexual assault trial has ended with a hung jury on all charges. According to Variety, Judge Charlaine Olmedo advised the parties involved that the jurors were not able to reach a unanimous verdict after nearly two weeks of deliberation. She read a note from the jurors that stated: "We are not even close to coming to a unanimous decision on any count, and are convinced this will not change."

Masterson is best known for playing high school slacker Steven Hyde on That '70s Show for the show's eight-season run on Fox. Years later, he and Ashton Kutcher, another star of That '70s Show, re-teamed for The Ranch, on Netflix. However, in 2017, multiple women filed sexual assault reports against Masterson, prompting Netflix to fire him. Those allegations became charges on "three counts of forcible rape relating to incidents involving three women from 2001 to 2003." Per Variety, the jurors advised Judge Olmedo that "they were divided on each charge. The split was two for guilty and 10 for not guilty on Count 1; four for guilty and eight for not guilty on Count 2; and five for guilty and seven for not guilty on Count 3."

According to Deadline, Masterson's trial got off to a tense start with Los Angeles County District Attorney Assistant DA Reinhold Mueller proclaiming it to be "three different sexual assault cases, in fact, three different cases of forcible rape." He also mentioned the Church of Scientology, aaccusing the organization of attempting to help Masterson cover up the reported incidents. Phillip Cohen, a member of Masterson's defense team, took the floor at one point to present an argument, but things seemed to get very off-track.

While giving a "couple of highlights" about the prosecution's case, Cohen claimed that the alleged victims disregarded LAPD advice and maintained communication with each other. He also indicated that the defense believed the victims were seeking to shake down Masterson for "oodles and oodles of money" that he earned from his work on That '70s Show. As Cohen spoke, the prosecution brought up a number of objections. 

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Deadline reports that the objections caused Cohen to grow visibly frustrated. Finally, Judge Charlene Olmedo frustratedly called both the prosecution and the defense to the bench and essentially ordered them to tone down their tempers. Had he been convicted of the crimes he is on trial for, Masterson faced a possible maximum sentence of 45 years to life in state prison. At this time, it is unclear if a new trial will be set.