Each of Masterson‘s alleged victims was a Scientologist at the time of the alleged rapes, which took place between 2001 and 2003. Masterson is a Scientologist.
Jane Doe #1, the first witness to testify, claimed that the religion forbids its followers from “fraternising with the enemy” and refers to non-Scientologists as “wogs.”
During a break, Judge Charlaine Olmedo yelled at the prosecutor for going against what she had said about the case before the trial.
Olmedo stated, clearly incensed, “I understand these witnesses’ lives may have been absolutely saturated with Scientology.” “Scientology will not be overrun at this trial,” said
Masterson’s lead defence attorney, Philip Cohen, requested a mistrial on the grounds that the testimony would probably unduly prejudice the case. Olmedo turned down that request, but he did say that both sides had gone too far in their opening statements.
In his opening statement, Reinhold Mueller, the main prosecutor, drew multiple allusions to religious concepts and rituals to explain why two of the accusers took their time notifying the police.
Mueller remarked, “They can label you a suppressive person.” You are really the church’s opponent. Your family, friends, and any church-affiliated children must all be separated from you. You basically lose everything.
On Tuesday afternoon, Jane Doe #1 was called to testify, and she immediately dove into the principles and practises of Scientology.
She stated at one point that Scientology’s objective was to purify the earth.
In pre-trial processes, the role of the church has been fiercely debated. While the prosecution wanted to bring in Claire Headley, a former scientist, to talk to the jury about church doctrine, Cohen fought to keep any talk of religion out of the case.
Olmedo has attempted to find a balance by allowing the claimed victims to explain their understanding of religious principles while rejecting the prosecution’s request for an expert witness. The defence, which has previously maintained that the church does not restrict its members from going to the police, is now in a difficult situation as a result of this. According to Cohen, he could dispute the accusers’ understanding of church doctrine, but it would only push the case closer to Scientology, which he would prefer to stay away from.
On Tuesday, Jane Doe #1 gave a deposition regarding her initial sexual experience with Masterson, which is unrelated to the allegations. When her testimony starts up again on Wednesday, she is expected to talk about the next time she says Masterson violently raped her.
She testified that she went out drinking with Masterson and that they returned to his residence together during the initial encounter, which happened in September 2002. She claimed they started kissing before engaging in sexual activity. She claimed that she thought of Masterson as a “nasty brother” and that having a sexual experience with him felt “nearly incestuous.”
“You’re going to hear that these women communicate with each other and with other witnesses after being directed, instructed, and reprimanded by the LAPD,” Cohen said.
In the past, the defence has asserted that the women banded together as a “sisterhood” to overthrow Masterson and the church.
Additionally, Cohen drew attention to inconsistencies in Jane Doe #1’s stories between her earlier statements to the LAPD, those made in a draught civil complaint, and those made more recently. The woman’s recent assertion that Masterson produced a gun during the alleged rape is foremost among them, according to Cohen. Neither the preliminary police report nor the proposed complaint contain that information.
Cohen added that she had eventually received payment as part of a 2004 lawsuit settlement. He said that Masterson had agreed to a non-disclosure agreement as part of the settlement and that she was earning “oodles of money” as a star of “That ’70s Show.”
He is about to extend a significant contract with “That ’70s Show,” according to Cohen. The motivation behind this NDA is that “[she] wants the money.”