A woman testified on Tuesday that 18 years ago, actor Danny Masterson raped her in his bed while she was partially conscious.
“When I came to, he was on top of me and he was inside of me,” said the woman, identifying herself only as Jen B. “The first thing I recall is grabbing his hair to pull him off.”
The former That 70s Show star is currently undergoing a preliminary hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court, where a judge is determining whether there is probable cause to order a trial. Masterson is accused of the rapes of three women.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His lawyer Thomas Mesereau has said he would prove his innocence.
Jen B testified that she had known Masterson through a group of friends who were all involved with the Church of Scientology in the late 1990s and early 2000s. She said that on 25 April, 2003, she went to Masterson's house to pick up a set of keys but was unable to leave.
She said that, at her request, Masterson had given her a drink with vodka. She then became “blurry” about 20 minutes later, and Masterson allegedly put her in his jacuzzi. She said she was too weak to sit up, and that a mutual friend, Luke Watson, tried to help her.
“I couldn't walk or stand, so he put me on the tile on the ground,” said she recalled. “I said, ‘Luke I can't see,’ and he said, ‘open your eyes,’ and I didn't know my eyes were closed. I couldn't open my eyelids. I felt really really sick.”
From there, Jen B said that Masterson carried her upstairs, where she was sick, and then put her in his shower. She said that as she began to lose consciousness, Masterson began to sexually assault her.
She then testified that he put her on the bed and raped her, and has limited memory of the encounter. She did say that she tried to fight back, but was unsuccessful.
She also said that the leadership of the Church of Scientology discouraged her from reporting the incident, noting that she would be declared a “suppressive person” if she made any claims against Masterson.
“I would lose my family and everyone I knew,” she said, though in June 2004 she did file a police report.
Prior to the hearing, Mr Mesereau argued that that references to the church or harassment of the women by officials and members should not be permitted, arguing that this would constitute “religious bias in the most blatant form”.
Masterson, 45, has been charged in a Los Angeles County court with three counts of rape by force or fear for alleged attacks that occurred in 2001 and 2003.
With reporting from the Associated Press