Danny Masterson rape retrial: 'We have targets on our backs,' accuser's husband testifies

Husband of Masterson accuser says his wife has PTSD and "resembles someone who's been to war."

ByLisa Bartley KABC logo
Saturday, April 29, 2023
Danny Masterson rape retrial: 'We have targets on our backs'
The husband of one of Danny Masterson's accusers told the jury "we have targets on our backs" from Scientology.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Jurors at the rape retrial of actor Danny Masterson heard from the second of three accusers Friday as she described going through a Scientology "Ethics Program" after Masterson allegedly raped her for the first time in September 2002.

"I fell asleep, I believe and woke up on my stomach," Jane Doe 1 told the jury about this earlier encounter that is not part of the criminal charges against Masterson.

"I came to... a sharp pain in my anus," she testified. "I screamed, no!"

Masterson has pleaded not guilty to three counts of forcible rape. His first trial ended with a hung jury last fall.

Earlier in the day, the husband of another accuser, Chrissie B, took the witness stand and told the jury that he believes the Church of Scientology is using "Fair Game" to put "targets on their backs."

Scientology says the Fair Game policy "was cancelled decades ago because it was subject to misinterpretation and misuse by opponents of the Church trying to tarnish Scientology."

Cedric B. Zavala began his testimony by describing his wife of thirteen years as the "true north of my compass."

One of his accusers broke down on the witness stand after she told the jury she believes she was hacked by Scientology "almost immediately" after she first went to police six years ago.

Zavala testified that he was angry, "the kind of anger that language doesn't do justice to," when she first told him around 2010 that she'd been anally raped by her ex-boyfriend Danny Masterson in 2001 while she was unconscious. Prosecutors in the case say all three of the women were drugged.

"It was almost like she was trying to disappear," Zavala told the jury of how Chrissie physically shrunk down as she described the alleged rape.

Zavala says she told him that she "woke up and had pain in her anus and that she asked Mr. Masterson what happened - and that he giggled like a child and alluded that he had done that to her against her will."

He told the jury that at that time, his wife was still "protecting" Masterson and that he had to tell her, "That's rape."

"I instantly felt like I had to protect her," said Zavala. "I think she was just in shock."

Zavala told the jury that the alleged harassment and stalking by the Church of Scientology started right after his wife first went to the police six years ago.

"She resembles someone who's been to war," he said of his wife's anxiety, panic attacks and PTSD. "To this day she grinds her teeth in her sleep, she'll wake up with bruises on her arms, she digs into her palm."

Prosecutor Ariel Anson asked Zavala about a separate civil lawsuit that he, his wife and the other accusers have filed against the Church of Scientology, its leader David Miscavige, and Danny Masterson.

Zavala told the jury that - yes, they are suing to stop the alleged harassment and stalking, in part because they, "have targets on their backs," and so "our kids don't have to see some stranger staring in the window."

"If you are a whistleblower or a critic of the church or any of its members... they will do anything to get you to be silent," Zavala added. "My children need a lot of therapy from this, so yeah, we are suing for money."

"The way a civil lawsuit is, there's money involved," says journalist Tony Ortega of The Underground Bunker.

"The defense is trying to make them seem suspicious or that their motivations are not clear."

In a statement, the Church of Scientology has said, "There is zero truth to any of the testimony that the Church has harassed or stalked the Jane Does."

The Church says it does not tolerate harassment or illegal or unethical actions to be committed in its name.

On cross-examination, Masterson defense attorney Philip Cohen tried to pick apart discrepancies between what Zavala told an LAPD detective last fall during Masterson's first trial and some additional details he testified to on Friday.

"So, is your memory better today than when you spoke to Detective Vargas in October of 2022 about the conversation you had with your wife in 2010," Cohen asked.

"Stuff comes back to me and I'm being truthful and I'm being honest," Zavala testified, adding later that his conversation with LAPD Detective Javier Vargas was not a recitation of every incident Chrissie had described to him over the years.

Masterson's defense team is suggesting to the jury that when Chrissie first revealed the alleged abuse to her husband in 2010, she only talked about the alleged unconscious sodomy in December of 2001.

That December incident is not part of the criminal charges against Masterson. The forcible rape charge in this trial stems from a separate incident in November of 2001 where Chrissie testified that Masterson raped her - and then hit her and spit on her face after she fought back.

Chrissie testified earlier this week that she initially focused on the alleged unconscious sodomy because that's the incident that spurred her to report Masterson to the Church of Scientology and eventually end their relationship.

The November incident "was normal," she told the jury.

The second of Masterson's accusers - Jane Doe 1 - took the witness stand on Friday afternoon and told jurors that after the first alleged rape by Masterson in September 2002, she was put on an "Ethics Program" by the Church of Scientology.

She testified that there were, "reports written on me for holding a grudge," against Masterson and that, "I had to write down the transgressions that I had."

"She said, at the time, she decided to let it go in the interests of the greatest good for the greatest number -- and she explained that that's a Scientology concept," journalist Ortega told Eyewitness News.

"So, her Scientology training, convinced her to forget about this incident that today she sees as an assault."

Prosecutor Reinhold Mueller took Jane Doe 1 through this first alleged rape that is not part of the criminal charges against Masterson. She described going to his Hollywood Hills home after drinking two suspiciously strong cocktails she says Masterson ordered for her at the "Lucky Bar" in Los Feliz.

Jane Doe 1 testified that because she was suddenly felt so drunk and didn't have a ride home, she agreed to sleep at Masterson's house in the guest room. But when they arrived, he guided her upstairs to his bedroom. She told the jury that her memory there is "blurry," and she kept tripping on the stairs.

"At some point, I recall him having intercourse with me," she says. "I wasn't saying no."

Jane Doe 1 testified that she fell asleep but woke up on her stomach later to a "sharp pain in my anus."

"I screamed, 'No,' and that's how it ended," she testified. In the days that followed, Jane Doe 1 says she sought medical attention and was, "confused, hurt and really, really ashamed."

Jane Doe 1 testified that she told her closest Scientology friends about this incident, including Lisa Marie Presley.

As word spread among their mutual friends, Jane Doe 1 testified that there were, "reports written on me for holding a grudge," against Masterson and that "I had to write down the transgressions that I had," as part of a Scientology ethics program.

Jane Doe 1 is expected to return to the witness stand on Monday morning to testify about the later alleged rape by Masterson in April 2003 that is the criminal charge in this case.

Actress and ex-Scientologist Leah Remini was in the front row of the courtroom gallery Friday to support Jane Doe 1 and the other accusers.

"I don't think the public understands how hard this must be for Scientology victims to have to be in court," Remini told ABC News earlier this week.

"They fought to be here, they're not here reluctantly - they fought to be here!"

Got a tip? Email ABC7 Investigative Producer Lisa.Bartley@abc.com.