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Judge: Charlaine F. Olmedo
Court: Superior Court, Los Angeles County, California
Plaintiff's Attorney: Los Angeles Country District Attorney's Office
Description: Los Angeles, California criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with three counts of rape.
The two women whose testimony led to Masterson's conviction said that in 2003, he gave them drinks and that they then became woozy or passed out before he violently raped them. He knew both from social circles in the Chruch of Scientology.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy DistrictAttorney Ariel Anson.
"That '70s Show"star Danny Masterson, age 47, was accused of three counts of sexual assault.
Rape (CA Penal Code Chapter 1 Section 261)
(a) Rape is an act of sexual intercourse accomplished under any of the following circumstances:
(1) If a person who is not the spouse of the person committing the act is incapable, because of a
mental disorder or developmental or physical disability, of giving legal consent, and this is
known or reasonably should be known to the person committing the act. Notwithstanding the
existence of a conservatorship pursuant to the provisions of the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act
(Part 1 (commencing with Section 5000) of Division 5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code), the
prosecuting attorney shall prove, as an element of the crime, that a mental disorder or
developmental or physical disability rendered the alleged victim incapable of giving consent.
This paragraph does not preclude the prosecution of a spouse committing the act from being
prosecuted under any other paragraph of this subdivision or any other law.
(2) If it is accomplished against a person’s will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or
fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the person or another.
(3) If a person is prevented from resisting by any intoxicating or anesthetic substance, or any
controlled substance, and this condition was known, or reasonably should have been known by
(4) If a person is at the time unconscious of the nature of the act, and this is known to the
accused. As used in this paragraph, “unconscious of the nature of the act” means incapable of
resisting because the victim meets any one of the following conditions:
(A) Was unconscious or asleep.
(B) Was not aware, knowing, perceiving, or cognizant that the act occurred.
(C) Was not aware, knowing, perceiving, or cognizant of the essential characteristics of the act
due to the perpetrator’s fraud in fact.
(D) Was not aware, knowing, perceiving, or cognizant of the essential characteristics of the act
due to the perpetrator’s fraudulent representation that the sexual penetration served a
professional purpose when it served no professional purpose.
(5) If a person submits under the belief that the person committing the act is someone known
to the victim other than the accused, and this belief is induced by any artifice, pretense, or
concealment practiced by the accused, with intent to induce the belief.
(6) If the act is accomplished against the victim’s will by threatening to retaliate in the future
against the victim or any other person, and there is a reasonable possibility that the perpetrator
will execute the threat. As used in this paragraph, “threatening to retaliate” means a threat to
kidnap or falsely imprison, or to inflict extreme pain, serious bodily injury, or death.
(7) If the act is accomplished against the victim’s will by threatening to use the authority of a
public official to incarcerate, arrest, or deport the victim or another, and the victim has a
reasonable belief that the perpetrator is a public official. As used in this paragraph, “public
official” means a person employed by a governmental agency who has the authority, as part of
that position, to incarcerate, arrest, or deport another. The perpetrator does not actually have
to be a public official.
(b) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Duress” means a direct or implied threat of force, violence, danger, or retribution sufficient
to coerce a reasonable person of ordinary susceptibilities to perform an act which otherwise
would not have been performed, or acquiesce in an act to which one otherwise would not have
submitted. The total circumstances, including the age of the victim, and his or her relationship
to the defendant, are factors to consider in appraising the existence of duress.
(2) “Menace” means any threat, declaration, or act that shows an intention to inflict an injury
Outcome: Defendant was found guilty on two counts.