The Los Angeles Superior Court ruled Wednesday that “That 70s Show” actor Danny Masterson’s rape accusers must allow the Church of Scientology to arbitrate their civil suit against him and the church, TMZ reports.
The court order says that Chrissie Carnell Bixler; her husband, Mars Volta singer Cedric Bixler-Zazvala; and another rape accuser all entered into an agreement that says “any dispute, claim or controversy” between them and the church must be resolved by the church, and not the US court system.
The three entered into the agreement while they were still members of the church. The court said that the agreement is binding and that they must “use Scientology internal Ethics, Justice, and binding religious arbitration procedures” for the disputes.
The agreement says the disputes must be resolved by “application to senior ecclesiastical bodies, including, as necessary, final submission of the dispute to the international justice Chief of the Mother Church of the Scientology religion.”
Masterson had agreed to the arbitration, the court order says.
As CrimeOnline has reported, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey filed criminal charges against Masterson in June, saying that he raped three woman in his Hollywood Hills home. Masterson has denied the charges, which first surfaced in a 2017 civil suit, saying they were motivated by the producer of an anti-Scientology television series. He was fired from the Netflix series The Ranch after the accusations were made public.
Bixler and three other women filed their civil suit in 2019, claiming that Masterson and other affiliates of the Church of Scientology were trying to intimidate them into silence after they came forward.
Wednesday’s court order appears to apply to Bixler, her husband, and another woman involved in the suit. It’s not clear if it applies to the other two women.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast:
[Featured image: Danny Masterson at his September 2020 arraignment on criminal charges in LA (Lucy Nicholson/Pool Photo via AP)]