A pair of prosecution witnesses in the Danny Masterson criminal rape trial separately testified Friday that when they heard two different accusers’ allegations against the “That 70s Show” star, they immediately thought what they’d just heard described was rape.
One such witness was Cedric B, the husband of the third Jane Doe, known in court as CB. He said after being married for a couple of years, CB told him about what happened between her and Masterson in December 2001.
While she was telling her story, “She seemed to be … it seemed like she was controlled by remote,” Cedric B told LAPD detectives.
Deputy District Attorney Ariel Anson asked Cedric B what that meant.
“It means that when she was describing her relationship [with Masterson] and a certain incident, she was holding back,” he said. “She was not necessarily forthcoming about everything. She seemed afraid.”
Anson then asked what Cedric B’s reaction was to her account.
“I told her she’d been raped,” he said.
Scientology was briefly brought up again: While Cedric B is not a Scientologist, he did admit to having done a Scientology course around 2010. The three Jane Does are plaintiffs in a separate civil lawsuit against Masterson and the Church of Scientology, which they say has been involved in a “terror campaign” to silence them; the lawsuit seeks injunction against harassing activities as well as unspecified monetary damages.
“You are involved in a pending civil lawsuit,” Cohen said. “Are you seeking monetary damages in that lawsuit? Cedric B replied that he was.
The defense has set out to portray all three Jane Does as corroborating for financial gain. CB, reserved throughout her grueling testimony, became impassioned Thursday when she spoke about what she says is harassment at the hands of her former church.
Her husband’s reply to Cohen’s money questions corroborated that notion: “When you sue for peace it costs money, doesn’t it?” he said.
Afternoon testimony returned to a June 2004 police report filed by Jane Doe 1, known as JB, as Detective Deborah Myers was called to the stand by the prosecution. Myers interviewed JB on June 8, 2004, two days after Officer Alexander Schlegel interviewed JB at the Hollywood station and took down an injury report.
“When I read the injury report,” she said, “it read like a crime report for a rape. I felt that I should investigate it as a possible sexual assault.”
Myers corroborated a large portion of JB’s testimony regarding the April 25, 2003 alleged assault, including that at the time JB believed the sex was consensual, that she had brought a letter and attached it to the report, and that her ethics officer at the Church of Scientology – Julian Swartz – was listed as someone JB had spoken with about the incident.
Myers said she did get in touch with Swartz but was “unable” to interview him.
On cross-examination, Defense Attorney Karen Goldstein honed in on inconsistencies between JB’s court testimony and her police report. Myers confirmed that JB never mentioned that Masterson pulled a gun; Goldstein also kept repeating that JB had called the sex consensual, to which Myer agreed.
Goldstein asked JB about her testimony that Masterson penetrated her anally and didn’t apologize until months later. Myers’ report stated that his penis didn’t actually enter her, that it either touched her or brushed against her anus, that Masterson pulled away immediately and apologized, and JB referred to the encounter as “accidental.”
Alongside vociferous objections from the prosecution, Goldstein managed to elicit from Myers that the District Attorney’s office never filed charges against Masterson back then, that they chose to not move forward with the case.
On redirect, Attorney Reinhold Mueller argued that it was a scheduling issue, not a lack of evidence, that saw the DA’s office unable to file charges. JB did have an appointment to meet with prosecutors on June 22 to discuss whether charges would be filed, but was unable to attend.
“Did [JB] tell you why she might not be able to take the meeting?” Mueller asked Myers.
Myers replied, “She thought she was contagious and was taking antibiotics and that she wouldn’t be available for three days.” Myers also clarified that the DA needed to do the interview by June 24, because she was on vacation after that.
The session concluded, with court resuming next Wednesday.
Masterson, who has been attending court daily with his family and wife Bijou Phillips, has denied all wrongdoing. He faces up to 45 years to life in prison if convicted.