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Danny Masterson Harassment Cases Must Go Through Scientology Arbitration

Vulture.com logo Vulture.com 1/1/2021 Halle Kiefer
a person wearing a suit and tie: Danny Masterson arraigned on rape charges on September 18, accompanied by his attorneys Thomas Mesereau (R) and Sharon Appelbaum. Lucy Nicholson - Pool/Getty Images © Lucy Nicholson - Pool/Getty Images Danny Masterson arraigned on rape charges on September 18, accompanied by his attorneys Thomas Mesereau (R) and Sharon Appelbaum. Lucy Nicholson - Pool/Getty Images

According to a judge’s determination on Wednesday, allegations of stalking and intimidation made by four people against Danny Masterson have to be mediated by the Church of Scientology. According to Variety, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Steven Kleifeld ruled the civil complaints filed by the actor’s accusers, Chrissie Carnell-Bixler, her husband, Mars Volta’s Cedric Bixler-Zavala, and two Jane Does, must go into “religious arbitration” because “an arbitration agreement already exists among the parties that compels disputes to be handled by the Church of Scientology.” The judge did not rule on a complaint filed by another accuser, Marie Bobette Riales, who has no affiliation with Scientology and does not have an arbitration agreement.

Carnell-Bixler has accused Masterson of sexual assault during their relationship in the early aughts, and both she and her spouse allege the actor or other members of Scientology poisoned their dog and stalked them in their home, among other methods of harassment. The ruling only affects the civil claims made by the accusers against the former The Ranch actor. Masterson is still scheduled to be arraigned on criminal rape charges next week on January 6. The actor has denied the sexual assault allegations made against him.

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