LOS ANGELES (AP) — A woman testified Friday that she was five years into a relationship with actor Danny Masterson
when she awoke to find him having sex with her while she slept, something that happened frequently.
She didn't want it, she said, but she had always accepted it, so she fought back this time.
“I tried pushing him off of me and saying no,” the woman, identified only as Christina B.
in court, said. “He wouldn’t stop. So I did something that I knew would make him angry and likely to get off me. I pulled his hair
. He has these rules, ‘no touch hair rule,’ ‘no touch face rule.’ He had this thing about his hair, so I knew if I pulled it really, really hard, he would get off me.
Christina B. was the second of three accusers of the 45-year-old "That '70s Show" actor to testify in Los Angeles Superior Court
at a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to order Masterson to stand trial
on three counts of rape
. Masterson has pleaded not guilty and his lawyer, Thomas Mesereau, has said he will prove his innocence.
Christine B. described the incident in November 2001, in the house
she and Masterson would share for the next six years. Under questioning from Deputy District Attorney
Reinhold Mueller, she said he hit her across the face with a loosely held fist, then stopped, spat on her, and called her "white trash."
Mesereau, who will have an opportunity to cross-examine Christine B. later, told the judge that he would argue that the interaction was consensual.
The Associated Press
does not usually identify people
who claim to have been sexually abused.
Christine B. claimed that a month later, she blacked out, awoke in pain, and learned from Masterson that he had sex with her while she was unconscious, prompting her to seek help from ethics officials at the Church of Scientology, which she joined in 1996 at the urging of Masterson, a prominent member.
She claimed that the officials persuaded her that she had not been raped, and she did not report Masterson to police
for 15 years.
The Church of Scientology denied all of the women's allegations in court documents filed by Masterson's accusers in a civil lawsuit
The church has loomed large in the case, as the defendant and his three accusers were all devoted members at the time of the allegations, which occurred between 2001 and 2003.
Both of the women who testified at the hearing spoke with church officials before approaching police.
Mesereau stated before the hearing began on Tuesday that the prosecution is characterized by “religious bias in the most blatant form” from the case’s prosecutors and lead detective.
Earlier Wednesday, he continued his cross-examination of the first witness
, identified in court as Jen B
., by attempting to connect her to prominent critics of Scientology, including actress Leah Remini.
Jen B. admitted to filming an interview with Remini for her show "Scientology and the Aftermath" in 2017, stating that she did so because she was concerned that no charges would be filed against Masterson and that this might be her only chance to be heard.
Mesereau asked her twice if she was paid for the interview, and she said no both times.
The lawyer also questioned her about inconsistencies and contradictions between her accounts to church officials and police in the months following the 2003 incident and her testimony Tuesday.
Mesereau was no stranger to the situation, having defended Michael Jackson
in the 2005 trial in which he was acquitted of child molestation and Bill Cosby in two trials, the second of which resulted in his sexual assault
conviction in 2018.
Andrew Dalton, AP Entertainment Writer
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