A judge in the rape trial of actor Danny Masterson declared a mistrial on Wednesday after jurors said they were unable to reach a verdict.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo had ordered the jurors to take Thanksgiving week off and continue to deliberate, The Associated Press reported.
Jurors had deadlocked after hearing weeks of testimony from three women who accused Masterson of raping them at his California home in Hollywood Hills between 2001 and 2003, according to the Los Angeles Times. The victims included a former girlfriend, the AP reported.
“I find the jurors hopelessly deadlocked,” Olmedo said.
Jurors said they had voted seven times Tuesday and Wednesday without reaching a consensus on any of the three counts, according to the AP. The jurors’ foreman said there were two votes for conviction on the first count, four on the second count and five on the third count, the news organization reported.
Masterson pleaded not guilty and his lawyer said the acts were all consensual. All three women were members of the Church of Scientology at the time, and Masterson remains a member, according to the news organization. Two of the woman testified that they had delayed reporting Masterson, fearing that church officials would sanction them, the Times reported.
The Church of Scientology denied protecting Masterson, according to the newspaper.
“The Church does not discourage anyone from reporting any alleged crime nor tell anyone not to report any alleged criminal conduct. The Church has no policy prohibiting or discouraging members from reporting criminal conduct of Scientologists, or of anyone, to law enforcement,” spokeswoman Karin Pouw said in a statement. “Quite the opposite, Church policy explicitly demands Scientologists abide by all laws of the land.”
Prosecutors must now decide whether to retry Masterson, the Times reported.
The actor faced a maximum sentence of 45 years to life in prison if he had been convicted on all three forcible rape counts.
While Masterson has denied the allegations, which first surfaced in late 2016, he was dropped in December 2017 by the Netflix series “The Ranch” as the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse scandal swept Hollywood, Variety reported.
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