Michael Jackson Criminal Defense Attorney Represents “That 70s Show” Star in Rape Case
Thomas Mesereau is a criminal defense attorney who perhaps is best known for successfully representing deceased singer Michael Jackson in a case involving 14 charges of child molestation. Mesereau also represented other celebrities that include Bill Cosby, Suge Knight, Michael Tyson, and Robert Blake. Mesereau currently is representing “That 70s Show” star Danny Masterson who is charged in Los Angeles with raping three women.
Danny Masterson is best known for playing the role of Steven Hyde in the popular Fox TV sitcom “That 70s Show.” He starred alongside Topher Grace, Mila Kunis, and Ashton Kutcher during the run of the show from 1998 to 2006. “That 70s Show” has enjoyed a long afterlife in syndicated reruns since the main run of the show ended about 15 years ago.
Charges Against Danny Masterson
In June 2020, Masterson was arrested on charges that he raped three different women, the case being brought against him after a three-year investigation by Los Angeles police. The Masterson prosecution is one of only a handful of criminal cases brought against celebrities alleged to have perpetrated crimes of sexual abuse, sexual assault, and sexual misconduct during the #MeToo movement. Dozens of men have been investigated by law enforcement based on allegations of this nature. Few have been charged criminally. Nonetheless, many civil actions have been brought by women (and some men) who allege they have been sexually victimized.
The alleged rapes in the Masterson case occurred about 20 years ago, at the height of the actor’s fame. Masterson adamantly maintains his innocence.
Prosecutors allege that Masterson raped a 23-year-old woman sometime during 2001. In addition, the state has charged him with raping a 28-year-old woman in April 2003 and another 23-year-old woman between October and December in 2003. All of the alleged sexual assaults are said to have occurred in Masterson’s home.
The criminal case had been scheduled for an initial plea by Masterson, which would have been “not guilty.” The court delayed the taking of an initial plea to conduct a hearing on a motion filed by Masterson’s attorney. Legal counsel specifically contends in the motion that the case should be thrown out by the court because of insufficient evidence.
Understanding Standards of Proof in Criminal and Civil Cases in the United States
The Michael Jackson criminal prosecution underscores an important fact about the justice system in the United States. A person can be charged with a sexually abusing, assaulting, or molesting a person and found not guilty. Nevertheless, a civil claim can be brought against a person in Jackson’s position, resulting in a successful lawsuit for damages or a settlement of claims despite the outcome of a criminal case. The fact is that two very different judicial standards are applied in criminal and civil cases in the United States.
In a criminal case, a person like Jackson or Danny Masterson can only be convicted if the prosecution is able to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil lawsuit, a judgment can be entered against a defendant if a demonstration is made that a person like Jackson or Masterson is more likely than not guilty of or responsible for the misconduct alleged by the plaintiff in the case.
Legal Rights of a Survivor of Sexual Abuse, Assault, or Misconduct
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse, assault, or misconduct, a Doan Law Firm sexual abuse lawyer is available to explain your rights in the civil court system. You are not confined to trying to obtain justice through the criminal court system.
A nationwide law firm, you can schedule an initial consultation and case evaluation with one of our experienced, compassionate sexual abuse lawyers at any one of our 40 offices. You can call our firm any time of the day or night, 365 days a year, at (800) 349-0000. In addition, we can schedule a virtual appointment with you online. There is no charge for an initial consultation with a sexual abuse lawyer from our firm.
The Doan Law Firm makes an attorney fee promise to you. We never charge an attorney fee unless we win for you.