Scientology Lawyers Say They’re Ready for Masterson Civil Rape Case

A civil case against alleged rapist Danny Masterson, a member of the Church of Scientology, is going to court, not arbitration
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Lawyers for the Church of Scientology and accused rapist and church member Danny Masterson say in new court documents that they are ready to begin filing motions and proceed in their defense against a civil suit facing the That 70s Show star, now that the church’s bid to have the case settled in private arbitration has been rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.

On October 3, SCOTUS denied the defendants’ request for review of a decision by a state appellate court, which had rejected the move for arbitration in a January ruling—which itself overturned a December 2020 decision by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Steven J. Kleifield, who would have forced the plaintiffs into arbitration with the church.

Reversing Kleifield, the Second District Court of Appeal found that the plaintiffs had a First Amendment right to leave a religious organization and are no longer bound by the church’s arbitration rules since their allegations occurred after they left Scientology.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers in the civil case filed by Chriss Carnell Bixler, her husband, Cedrick Bixler-Zavala, Marie Bobette Riales and two “Jane Does” say they are now ready to begin filing motions. All plaintiffs allege that the 46-year-old actor stalked them after they reported to police that Masterson had allegedly assaulted the women.

The civil case comes hot on the heels of Masterson’s criminal case, which is now being heard in an L.A. court. On Wednesday, Jane Doe #1 testified that Masterson paid a settlement of $400,000 and required the accuser to sign an NDA, effectively silencing a report she filed in 2004, Deadline reports.

Another woman stated that she was in a five-year relationship with Masterson until she woke to find Masterson raping her in 2001.

Master is facing accusations from three women—an ex-girlfriend, a friend, and a new acquaintance—all of whom were members of the Church of Scientology before making these allegations.

Masterson is currently being charged with three counts of rape by force or fear and could potentially face up to 45 years in prison if he is convicted. The plaintiffs and Masterson agreed that discovery should be delayed pending the outcome of the criminal case, according to joint papers filed by the parties on Tuesday.

City News Service contributed to this report.


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