AceShowbiz - The women suing Danny Masterson and Church of Scientology leaders for reportedly trying to silence them over sexual abuse allegations have been ordered to enter the arbitration process provided by the religious organisation.
Four females took their case to court in August 2019, accusing the defendants of engaging in stalking and invasion of privacy as part of a "conspiracy" to cover up Masterson's alleged actions, which include claims of rape.
However, on Wednesday (30Dec20), the Los Angeles Superior Court judge overseeing the civil suit ruled a written agreement the women signed while they were still Scientologists, which stated that "any dispute, claim or controversy" which arises between members must be resolved by church officials, is legally binding, meaning they have to argue their case in front of the very people they have accused of wrongdoing, reports TMZ.
Masterson has repeatedly denied allegations of sexual assault, which first surfaced in 2017, but the controversy cost him his job on Netflix comedy "The Ranch".
He has also been hit with criminal charges amid claims he forcibly raped three women in incidents dating back to 2001. He faces a maximum sentence of 45 years to life behind bars if found guilty.
"Mr. Masterson is innocent, and we're confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify," his lawyer said in a statement in response to the charges. "The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false."