Four women have now come forward to accuse well-known Scientologist and The Ranch star Danny Masterson of sexual assault, and the actor reportedly threatened one of the accusers in a handwritten letter that is in the possession of Los Angeles law enforcement officials.
Still, despite what one law enforcement source told the Huffington Post was “overwhelming” evidence against Masterson, no criminal charges have been filed — and it’s unclear if they ever will be.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the Los Angeles Police Department was investigating allegations of rape from three women as of this past March. All three accusers, who have not been identified, were current or former Scientologists, and one of the women said she was in a relationship with Masterson at the time.
According to the Huffington Post report, a fourth accuser has since claimed Masterson raped her in the early 2000s, which is the same time period the three others have said they were assaulted. The fourth accuser has not been identified, and it is not known if she was ever a member of the Church of Scientology.
The Huffington Post obtained a police report filed in 2004 by one of the alleged victims, who claims that Masterson sexually assaulted her while she was sleeping, and when she woke up, choked her so severely that she passed out.
The case opened in 2004 reportedly stalled after 50 fellow Scientologists came forward to refute the accuser’s claims. Such tactics are believed to be common in the controversial church, which reportedly punishes members who report fellow Scientologists to law enforcement, labeling them a “suppressive person” which comes with a high risk of being excluded from the church.
According to the Huffington Post report, LAPD turned over files and evidence pertaining to the rape allegations to the District Attorney’s office in April of this year. That evidence reportedly includes emails, audio tapes, and the letter written by Masterson to one of his accusers, allegedly threatening her. But the case is nonetheless being “slow rolled,” according to one source who spoke to the Huffington Post, for reasons that appear to be unclear even to some in the district attorney’s office.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the ex-girlfriend who accused Masterson of raping her when they were dating wrote a letter to the LAPD in February, obtained by Tony Ortega’s Scientology blog “The Underground Bunker,” in which she claimed that an LAPD officer suggested the Church of Scientology may have had some protection on the police force. The letter reads, in part:
[The officer] warned me that I am not to speak to any other officer or anyone claiming to be an officer … She told me that she has taken our police reports out of the LAPD computers so that no one could see them. She said she had them in a vault that only she and her captain could access. She told me this was done to safeguard the case as she agreed that their [sic] are leaks in the LAPD and that some LAPD officers are very friendly with the church of Scientology.
Masterson, who rose to fame on the network sitcom That 70s Show, has not only avoided criminal prosecution, but has so far dodged any career repercussions. Production on his Netflix series The Ranch has not been affected; in mid-October Netflix announced that part four of the series would drop in December. But just after Kevin Spacey was accused of sexual assault this week, Netflix suspended production on what was to be the final season of House of Cards.
Netflix did not respond to Huffington Post‘s request for comment, and the district attorney’s office declined to comment.
[Feature photo: Associated Press]