It’s a Big Month for Sex Predator Trials

What do Harvey Weinstein, Danny Masterson, and Kevin Spacey have in common? They're spending the spooky season on trial like the absolute ghouls they are.

It’s a Big Month for Sex Predator Trials
Photo:Etienne Laurent, Lucy Nicholson, Nicole Harnishfeger (Getty Images)

Spooky season is taking on a whole new meaning this October, as three infamous sexual predators—some of the most memorable faces of #MeToo—are now embroiled in long-awaited court battles. That’s right, besmirched Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, That ‘70s Show actor Danny Masterson, and House of Cards star Kevin Spacey, are all haunting courthouses this month, with Weinstein and Masterson facing a host of collective criminal charges, and the latter arguing against a weighty lawsuit.

Weinstein, who was convicted on one charge of committing a criminal sexual act in the first degree and one charge of rape in the third degree and sentenced to 23 years in prison in February 2020, will once again stand trial in Los Angeles superior court starting this week. The former Hollywood producer faces 11 charges of sexual assault for alleged incidents involving five women between 2004 to 2013. The allegations include forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual battery by restraint, and sexual penetration by use of force. If Weinstein is found guilty, he could receive an additional 140 years in prison.

Masterson, as Jezebel recently reported, received three felony charges of forcible rape in 2020, with three women—including one former girlfriend—alleging Masterson sexually assaulted them in the early 2000s. If convicted, Masterson faces 45 years to life in prison.

Finally, Spacey could be forced to pay up to $40 million in damages for the psychological injuries he allegedly inflicted upon the actor, Anthony Rapp, when he made a sexual advance on the then-14 years old in 1986.

Because each contentious case is riddled with potentially confusing—not to mention, sickening—details, we’ve taken the liberty of highlighting all the horrifying particulars you should know:

Harvey Weinstein

Weinstein at a pre-trial hearing at Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in 2021. Photo:Getty Images

In 2020, just as Weinstein began his New York trial, he was charged with sexual assault in Los Angeles. By July 2021, Weinstein was indicted on four counts of forcible rape and forcible oral copulation, two counts of sexual battery by restraint, and one count of sexual penetration by use of force. According to prosecutors, Weinstein’s recent charges stem from the following: an alleged rape that occurred between September 2004 and September 2005; the rape of a second woman on two separate occasions in November 2009 and November 2010 at a hotel in Beverly Hills; the sexual assault of another woman at a Beverly Hills hotel in May 2010; and the sexual assaults of two women in separate incidents in 2013.

The women—identified only as Jane Doe 1-5—are expected to testify in court. According to Variety, Judge Lisa B. Lench will allow four additional women to testify as “prior bad act witnesses”—none of whom, however, will be accusers Daryl Hannah or Rose McGowan, as they were blocked by Lench. It’s unclear who all of the witnesses will be, apart from actress and wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Jennifer Siebel, who accused Weinstein of sexual assault in 2017.

As in his previous trial, Weinstein pled guilty and maintained that all of the alleged assaults were consensual. Of the allegations, his attorney has told reporters that they “stem from many years ago” and cannot “be substantiated or corroborated by any forensic evidence,” or “credible witnesses.”

The trial is expected to last eight weeks, and the proceedings will not open to the public with the exception of 24 reporters and two sketch artists.

Danny Masterson

Masterson at the premiere of “Big Bear” in 2017. Photo:Getty Images

A series of delays—the most recent of which was due, in part to his affiliation with Scientology—has prolonged Masterson’s criminal proceedings, but this week, the actor will finally stand trial for alleged rapes that took place in the early 2000s. Masterson faces charges for raping three women—two women, known as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, and a former girlfriend, Chrissie Carnell Bixler—at his Los Angeles home.

Bixler, who dated Masterson from 1996 to 2001, alleges that he drugged and assaulted her while she was unconscious. During their relationship, Bixler claimed she alerted an ethics officer at the Church of Scientology—where she was also a member—but was told that because she and Masterson were a couple, what happened to her was not rape. She claimed she later confided in a church chaplain who didn’t offer anything more than the same apathy. “My job as his girlfriend was to give myself to him whenever he wanted,” Bixler said when she appeared on the series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. “I was to lay there and take it.”

Jane Doe 1 and 2 have waged similar accusations, stating that they, too, were not only raped while unconscious but intimidated by the Church of Scientology when they attempted to come forward.

The Church of Scientology is expected to inevitably play a role in the proceedings, though Masterson’s attorneys have emphatically discouraged it. Of the witnesses expected to testify, Lisa Marie Presley is reportedly set to be called by the prosecution. Presley was a longtime Scientologist until she left the church in 2012. She’s also linked to Jane Doe 1.

The actor has pleaded not guilty and vehemently denied all allegations.

Kevin Spacey

Spacey outside the U.S, District Courthouse on October 06, 2022, in New York City. Photo:Getty Images

In 1986, then-14-year-old actor Anthony Rapp was allegedly groped by Spacey at a house party in New York City. Now, 36 years later, Spacey is being sued by Rapp for psychological damages incurred from the incident.

The legal proceedings—which began last week—have already seen Rapp’s emotional testimony against Spacey. According to Rapp, Spacey invited the teenage Rapp to a party at his house when they were both performing in respective Broadway shows. Once he arrived at the party, Rapp told the court he felt uncomfortable as he didn’t know many of the guests. After he went to watch television by himself in a bedroom, Spacey entered and was allegedly “uneasy on his feet” and clearly intoxicated. The elder actor, who was then 26, approached Rapp, grabbed his buttocks, and lifted him onto the bed. Rapp claimed he was forced to “wriggle out” as Spacey “pinned” him underneath his body.

“I had to get out of there,” he testified. When he reached the front door, Rapp alleged that Spacey asked: “Are you sure you want to leave?” Rapp said yes and returned to the apartment wherein he was staying with his mother.

In 2017, after the allegations were made public, Spacey wrote on Twitter that he didn’t remember the alleged incident, yet apologized for it: “But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.”

In addition to Rapp’s case, Spacey is currently facing charges of sexually assaulting three men over a decade ago in London. He plead not guilty and is expected to go on trial there next year. He has been publicly accused of sexual misconduct by four other men but legal charges were either dropped or were not pursued.

Rapp is seeking compensatory and punitive damages that amount to $40 million.

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