On just the second day of testimony in the Danny Masterson rape trial, Judge Charlaine F. Olmeda called a brief recess barely an hour into the testimony of a witness who became overwhelmed with emotion as she detailed how she thought she was “going to die” during an encounter with the “That 70s show” star that included aggressive, violent behavior and gun play.
Jane Doe No. 1, known for purposes of trial as “JB,” alleged she was raped on April 25, 2003, at the actor’s Los Angeles home – the second time she says he assaulted her there.
Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller walked JB through the incidents that led to the alleged 2003 rape, speaking of how she had arrived at Masterson’s home around 1:30 a.m. to get a set of keys to the house of her best friend, whom she was due to take to the airport early the following morning.
However, things unraveled quickly at Masterson’s house, with him initially giving her a vodka drink she described as “really sweet and really fruity.” Around 15 minutes later, the she said Masterson declared he was going to throw her in the jacuzzi, then dragged her through the house to the backyard.
“I was confused why I couldn’t pull my wrists from him or sit down and be dead weight,” she said.
She recalled everything being blurry, and a sense she might fall asleep or slip under the water; eventually, she said she couldn’t see. She testified she couldn’t sit up and said, “I feel sick I’m going to vomit everywhere.”
She said Masterson dragged her upstairs to the bathroom saying: “I’m going to take her and
stick her fingers down her throat. She needs to throw up.”
JB’s testimony became more harrowing as she described how Masterson got her upstairs to the bathroom to vomit. She recalled passing out on more than one occasion, awakening to Masterson saying she was “f—-g disgusting” and then pulling her into the shower screaming “There’s vomit all over her f—–g hair.”
She testified that she became unconscious and woke to water on her head and Masterson in front
of her. “He was poking my breasts. I swung at his chest and I kind of hit it.”
The next thing she recalled was him dragging her out of the bathroom to his bedroom pushing her onto the bed. “I passed out or was asleep or unconscious.” She recalled waking up naked with Masterson penetrating her.
Unable to get him off her by grabbing his hair she testified, “I grabbed the pillow behind my neck and I pushed it into his face … He shoved it back in my face, harder.”
Sobbing uncontrollably now, JB said Masterson put all his body weight on her and she fell unconscious.
“I came to and he was still on top of me. There was no pillow on my face. I grabbed his throat,” she said.
She testified Masterson grabbed both her hands and held them over her head by her wrists and put his other hand on her throat. “He squeezed really really, hard,” she said. “I thought I was going to die. I thought he was going to kill me.”
At that point JB’s words were unintelligible she was sobbing so hard.
“I can’t do this, I can’t do this,” she said, standing up from her chair. Olmeda called for a five-minute recess, with JB was still sobbing as the jury filed out.
Testimony resumed with JB recalling drifting in and out of consciousness and waking to noises at the door, Masterson pulling a gun from his nightstand and telling her to “shut the f— up” and “don’t fucking move,” before putting it back in the drawer.
She testified that she tried to reach into the drawer – and he slammed her hand in it. She also testified Masterson later penetrated her anus, but was unclear about with what.
After walking her through the events of that night, Mueller turned the testimony to when and how and to whom JB reported the 2003 rape at the Church of Scientology. She said she feared being declared a “suppressive person” if she reported it.
She said the Church denied her request to report the incident to police, and suggested she was “pressured” into signing an NDA in 2004.
Though the judge admonished attorneys on both sides for continually bringing up Scientology against her wishes, the church was also front and center in early morning testimony, when Mueller opened by asking JB how her disclosure of the 2002 alleged rape affected her friendships after she shared it with fellow Scientologists and friends, including Lisa Marie Presley.
“[One friend] was upset it was her boss [Masterson] I was speaking ill of,” JB testified. “Some others wrote reports on me for upsetting the group.”
The “reports” she explained are Knowledge Reports – or KR’s – stating they had to “write reports when we had relevant information that was nonideal within our group to be sent to our counselors who would then call us in perhaps, have us address it by talking about it and taking steps to fix what we did wrong and stopping it from happening again.”
JB was summoned to the “ethics office” of Julian Swartz, whom she said was “a man who works for Scientology that sort of oversees moral correction and infractions. She added she felt pressured to make peace, shake hands and bury the hatchet” with Masterson, she said.
Asked what she meant about feeling pressured, the witness said the pressure was from Swartz for her to take responsibility for her herself, “to look at my actions, what I did wrong and how I was probably a willing participant.”
The church has denied any involvement or interference with the case, stating only that it requires its members to follow laws and report crimes.
JB said she wasn’t surprised by Swartz’s directive because “my understanding my entire life [is that] you can never be a victim. Nothing ever happens to you that you didn’t cause. You are responsible. You created that.”
Defense Attorney Phillip Cohen began his cross examination 15 minutes before Olmeda broke for the day. Cross examination will continue Thursday morning.