Lawsuit against actor Danny Masterson must be arbitrated through the Church of Scientology, orders Judge

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jan 02, 2021, 09:20 AM(IST)

Danny Masterson Photograph:( AFP )

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The civil lawsuit is separate from the ongoing criminal action against Masterson. The actor was charged in June with raping three women in separate incidents occurring between 2001 and 2003 — allegations that Masterson, who has an arraignment scheduled for Jan. 6, has denied.

The civil lawsuit against 'That 70s Show' actor Danny Masterson has seen some development. 

According to a court order obtained by People.com, a judge has ruled that the civil lawsuit against Danny must be arbitrated through the Church of Scientology,

The civil lawsuit was filed in August 2019 by Chrissie Carnell Bixler, her musician husband Cedric Bixler-Zavala, Marie Bobette Riales and two Jane Does claiming that the Church's agents stalked and intimidated them after they reported allegations against Masterson to police.

The civil lawsuit is separate from the ongoing criminal action against Masterson. The actor was charged in June with raping three women in separate incidents occurring between 2001 and 2003 — allegations that Masterson, who has an arraignment scheduled for Jan. 6, has denied.

In Los Angeles County Superior Court the judge ruled that the civil complaints against the actor must be resolved through "religious arbitration" due to an existing arbitration agreement among the involved parties, as per the court order.

Also read: Netflix fires 'The Ranch' actor Danny Masterson over rape allegations

In response to the court order, Masterson’s attorney Andrew Brettler was quoted saying "This was absolutely the correct result. We look forward to arbitrating the claims, as the Court directed."

In the suit, Carnell Bixler claimed Masterson sexually assaulted her multiple times while they were dating in 2001 and 2002.  The star of television's 'That '70s Show' and 'The Ranch' allegedly raped the women, all in their twenties at the time, "by force or fear" in separate incidents between 2001 and 2003. 

After Carnell Bixler reported the sexual assault to police, Bixler-Zavala alleged in the lawsuit, "agents of the defendants" poisoned their dogs, assaulted them with cars and made harassing phone calls.

If found guilty, the actor could face a possible maximum sentence of 45 years to life in state prison.

Masterson's arraignment was scheduled for November, but after his attorney, Thomas Mesereau, appeared before a Los Angeles judge and argued that the rape case was "politically motivated", it was postponed to Jan. 6.

Masterson, who has not yet entered a plea in the case, remains free on bail for $3.3 million and has continued to deny the allegations.

 

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