(AP) — An attorney for actor Danny Masterson
grilled a witness
on Thursday about why she agreed to go to Masterson's house
on the night she claimed he raped her.
“You went over to Danny Masterson’s house knowing you were going to take your clothes off, right?” Thomas Mesereau
"No," she stated emphatically.
Mesereau had just played a recording in which the woman told police
that Masterson had texted her to come to his house, take her clothes off, and get into his hot tub on a late 2003 night.
The woman, known only as N. Trout in court, was the third accuser to testify at a hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence for the 45-year-old “That '70s Show” actor to stand trial
on three counts of rape. He has pleaded not guilty, and Mesereau has stated that he will prove Masterson's innocence.
The Associated Press
does not usually identify people
who claim to have been sexually abused.
Earlier in the hearing, she had told the story of how, a few nights after they had drinks with mutual friends
, Masterson began texting her in a demanding tone, demanding that she come to his house.
“I didn’t understand why he was commanding,” she explained, “I thought maybe he was saying it to be aggressive as a form of flirting; I didn’t understand why he was so aggressive.”
She testified that she agreed to come over to talk and possibly have a glass of wine after setting conditions and boundaries, including that she would not be wearing a swimsuit or entering his pool, and that she was flattered by Masterson's attention and might be open to kissing.
Trout testified that she had one or more drinks to relax before walking to Masterson's house, and that when she arrived, he gave her a glass of wine.
He then led her into the backyard, where he instructed her to strip naked and enter the hot tub.
“Get them off. If you don't, I'll do it. Get them off,” she remembered him saying.
She said she listened to him because "I didn't want any violence to happen, I didn't want things to escalate; I was giggling, trying to say 'No, I don't want to.'"
She later added that she did what he said that night partly because she believed he was speaking from a position of authority in the Church of Scientology, which both of them were members of.
Trout testified that when they entered the hot tub, things became blurry in her memory and in her state of mind, but that Masterson took her upstairs to the shower, where he raped her, and then raped her again on his bed.
“I was like, ‘Danny, what are you doing?’ I said, ‘No, you don't even have a condom on,'” she testified.
Mesereau pressed her on details she claimed she didn't remember during a 2017 interview with Los Angeles police.
“In a previous interview, you stated that you did not remember going up the stairs,” Mesereau said. “This is 2021; do you remember more now than you did then?”
“I'm sure you're familiar with how trauma works, and when you open it up as I've had to do these past four years, pieces of it have become less blurry for me,” she responded.
Mesereau also questioned her about the amount of alcohol and medication she drank that night, as well as whether she had taken either before coming to court.
“I had a little Xanax to help me do this,” she explained.
The hearing is scheduled to end on Friday, when Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo will consider the evidence presented and decide whether to order a trial for Masterson, who has been free on bail since his arrest in June and faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted.
Andrew Dalton, AP Entertainment Writer
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