Following the growing list of accusations against Kevin Spacey, Netflix was lauded for “pulling the plug” on House of Cards. This wasn’t entirely accurate or fair. The sixth season had already been determined to be the show’s last—the announcement of that information only came after the allegations of sexual assault. This week, production was halted entirely, leaving the sixth and final season up in the air.
Meanwhile, another alleged abuser continues on at Netflix undeterred: Danny Masterson, former star of That ’70s Show and current star of Netflix’s The Ranch.
The LAPD has been investigating Masterson since last year after four women accused him of violently raping them over a decade ago. Inevitably, people will ask “why didn’t they come forward sooner?” A) Shut up. B) Three of these women did. Unfortunately, because the women were Scientologists, they had to report the incidents to the “church” rather than law enforcement, per Scientology rules, and the organization has a lengthy history of alleged abuse cover-ups. And the one that went to proper authorities, well, Scientology took care of that one, too.
One of Masterson’s accusers filed a police report in 2004 saying that she was raped in 2003, but the case didn’t move forward after the Church of Scientology intervened and submitted over 50 affidavits from Scientologists who denied the woman’s account. According to a report filed with the Los Angeles Police Department, the woman said Masterson raped her while she was “passed out,” and when she awoke and realized he was raping her, she struggled with him until he choked her and she passed out again.
Leah Remini’s Scientology and the Aftermath has interviewed several former Scientologists who alleged their experiences of rape and abuse were quickly covered up by the organization. Scientology, of course, denied this.
In Scientology, reporting another Scientologist to law enforcement is considered a “suppressive act” and can lead to immediate expulsion from the organization. The church is known for attacking accusers rather than rebutting the accusations and for efficiently organizing its members to take action against accusers. According to two sources with knowledge of the case, the woman’s case file from 2004 vanished, leaving Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller to reconstruct it.
The evidence against Masterson is abundant to say the least. But apparently, it hasn’t been enough to move the case forward.
Despite compelling ― what one law enforcement source described as “overwhelming” — evidence, the charges have not been approved for filing. The evidence includes audiotapes, emails sent to and from Scientology officers at the time the alleged rapes happened, forensic computer evidence and a threatening handwritten letter Masterson sent to one of the alleged victims, according to two people with knowledge of the evidence in the district attorney’s possession
Allegations against Masterson have been public knowledge since March. Netflix announced a few weeks ago that the second half of The Ranch’s second season will premiere Dec. 15. The Ranch will return for a third season next year.