Mistrial declared in Danny Masterson rape case after jury is deadlocked

Mistrial declared in Danny Masterson rape case after jury is deadlocked

LOS ANGELES — The jury weighing the rape charges against “That ’70s Show” star Danny Masterson announced Wednesday it was hopelessly deadlocked, and a mistrial was declared.

Masterson, 46, was charged with raping three women at his Hollywood Hills home from 2001 to 2003 and faces up to 45 years in prison if he is convicted on all three counts.

A retrial is scheduled for March 27.

A spokesperson for Masterson said two jurors voted to convict Masterson on the first charge. Four believed he was guilty on the second count, and five believed him guilty on the final charge, the spokesperson said.

A lawyer for Masterson, Philip Cohen, said that he was thankful for the jurors' "incredible care and commitment."

"This trial was about nothing other than the credibility of the three accusers and that credibility could only be determined by comparing, contrasting and focusing on the ever evolving statements given by the women," he said.

In a joint statement, two of the women who accused Masterson — both of whom are former members of the Church of Scientology — said they were "obviously disappointed" at the mistrial.

2017 CMT Music Awards - Show (Mike Coppola / Getty Images for CMT)
2017 CMT Music Awards - Show (Mike Coppola / Getty Images for CMT)

Masterson, who still belongs to the church, had "evaded criminal accountability for his deplorable acts," they said. "However, we are collectively resolved to continue our fight for justice, including in civil court, where we have alleged that Mr. Masterson, along with the Church of Scientology, its leader David Miscavige, and others conspired to systematically stalk, harass, and intimidate us when we sought to shed light on Mr. Masterson’s actions."

In a statement, a church spokesperson said there was "zero" truth to the allegations and described the civil suit as an "attempted shakedown for cash."

"So it is no surprise they repeated their false accusations against the Church — without any evidence whatsoever, since there is none," the spokesperson said.

The L.A. County District Attorney's office in a statement said it will now consider next steps relating to prosecuting the case.

"While we are disappointed with the outcome in this trial, we thank the jurors for their service," the statement said. "We also want to give our heartfelt appreciation to the victims for bravely stepping forward and recounting their harrowing experiences."

Masterson has denied all the allegations leveled against him by the women. Masterson has also denied assaulting a fourth woman, identified as Jane Doe #4, who told the court he had raped her, too. While the judge allowed testimony by Jane Doe #4, Masterson was not criminally charged with raping her.

The announcement came on the sixth day of deliberations, after Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo had given the panel Thanksgiving week off.

The jurors sent Olmedo a note on Nov. 18 saying they had been “unable to reach a unanimous decision” on any of the three forcible rape counts against Masterson.

“You have been deliberating for an insufficient amount of time,” Olmedo said before she excused them for the holiday break.

Diana Dasrath reported from Los Angeles, Corky Siemaszko from New York and Tim Stelloh from Alameda, California.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com