Scientology under Fire: Intrusion into Confidential Court Documents Sparks Investigation
A shocking revelation has provoked a stern investigation into the Church of Scientology's clandestine operations. This comes after confidential prosecution material relating to the rape trial of high-profile church member, Danny Masterson, was allegedly accessed by the church.
Reports indicate that Scientology mysteriously gained possession of sensitive investigation documents, correspondence between law enforcement and Masterson's accusers, and images connected to three ex-Scientologists who accused the 'That '70s Show' star of sexual assault between 2001 and 2003.
During a hearing on May 10 in Los Angeles, Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller appalled Judge Charlaine Olmedo with information that suggested church officials had access to sealed files designated only for his and Masterson's legal counsel.
Following Masterson's lawyer, Philip Cohen's denial of sharing any material, Judge Olmedo assured a rigorous probe into the incident once Masterson's trial concludes.
Forensic specialist Dean Tong informs that determining the source of this leakage could be a challenging endeavor. "Masterson's attorneys denied disclosing it and can't perjure themselves as court officials," Tong notes. However, he underscores the fact that the influential church, given its considerable resources, could potentially employ a tech expert to infiltrate court computer files or possibly even have an informant within the District Attorney's office or the Los Angeles Police Department.
An ex-Scientology member remarked on the importance of the contentious material for the church, hinting at the worry that the church had any access to these documents in the first place.
According to insiders, despite not being a direct party to the criminal case that could sentence Masterson to 45 years in prison if found guilty, Scientology is reportedly on edge. This is Masterson's second trial on similar charges, following a hung jury verdict in the previous year.
"The church has a tremendous stake in this case," an informant maintains, highlighting the negative public attention the church has received over the years and its subsequent struggle to attract young, high-profile celebrities.
Further compounding the church's distress is a series of civil lawsuits by the women alleging that their claims against Masterson were disregarded by the church's officials and legal team. "This is a critical juncture for Scientology. It further complicates the situation that they obtained confidential legal papers," the insider points out.
Even as the Church of Scientology vehemently refutes allegations of discouraging crime reporting, insiders suggest the church's alleged intervention could be a protective measure against potential reputational damage.
While a church representative dismisses the prosecution's statement and ensuing legal investigation as part of continuous "harassment", sources assert that the impending investigation is unfavorable for the church. They predict that the probe's longevity could keep the church in the spotlight, potentially exposing unpalatable truths.
Globe reported on the source's comments.