- The Mars Volta singer testified about his wife during Danny Masterson’s trial on rape charges.
- He said his wife told him in 2010 or 2011 that she had been raped by Masterson in 2001.
- Cedric Zavala also testified that since his wife reported the rape, his family has been stalked.
Wearing a dark gray suit with wide shoulders, The Mars Volta lead singer Cedric Zavala took the stand in the third week of actor Danny Masterson’s Los Angeles trial on criminal rape charges and said that he and his wife’s family have been monitored by the Church of Scientology for at least the last 6 years.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office charged the “That ’70s Show” actor with three counts of rape in 2020 based on the accounts of three women, one of whom is Zavala’s wife. The accusers, all former members of the Church of Scientology, alleged that Masterson, a lifelong member, assaulted them at the height of his sitcom fame. Though the church is not on trial, the accusations are interwoven with the witnesses’ experiences with the church after they attempted to report the behavior.
Zavala testified that he met his wife, referred to in complaints and throughout the trial as Jane Doe 3, in 2008 and they got married, “almost immediately after,” and that he loved her “like there’s no tomorrow.” On Friday, Zavala testified that his wife opened up to him in a conversation at their Franklin Hills home between 2010 and 2011, and that she told him that she had been sexually assaulted by Masterson.
As he opened his testimony, Zavala was asked if he recognized Masterson in the room by the prosecution — the response to which drew one of the few visible reactions from Masterson throughout the trial.
“Yes,” he answered, describing him as the man in the “dark gray suit, with curly red hair, and pale skin.”
Later, when Zavala left the stand after further questioning, Masterson glared at him as he exited the courtroom.
Throughout the testimony, Zavala explained to the court how reluctant his wife was to open up during their conversation about the incident with Masterson. They talked about a December 2001 incident that Jane Doe 3 had previously testified about, where she alleged that Masterson raped her while she was unconscious.
“It seemed like she was controlled by a remote,” Zavala said. “It seemed like she was holding back, she seemed afraid.”
He added that his wife seemed ashamed and embarrassed, avoiding eye contact and keeping her hands gripped by her waist side during their candid conversation. He said that he was furious after learning about what she said Masterson had done to her.
“I was angry, furious.” Zavala said, adding that he reacted, “by telling her that she had been raped.”
Later, she opened up to him about other incidents, he added.
“She seemed angry, embarrassed, and relieved as well, all in one,” Zavala added. He later added that he had taken some Scientology courses in the past, but never considered himself a member.
The three accusers in the criminal trial and Zavala have a pending civil suit filed in 2019 which lists Scientology as a defendant, alleging that the Church has harassed and stalked them since Los Angeles Police started investigating Masterson in 2016. The accounts in the civil lawsuit led to three criminal charges of forcible rape filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in 2020.
Like other witnesses in the criminal trial, and in the civil case, Zavala alleged that he, his wife, and two 9-year-olds had been stalked and harassed by the Church of Scientology for years. Scientology has denied the allegations in the civil suit and the witness testimony in the criminal case.
“The harassment allegations are obvious, cynical, and self-serving fictions,” a Scientology spokesperson previously told Insider. “The Church will prevail against those slanderous charges.”
Zavala corroborated his wife — who had a panic attack on the stand discussing Scientology — and claimed that the harassment started after she formally reported the December 2001 rape to Austin police in 2016, when they lived in Texas.
“Have you been stalked and harassed by the Church of Scientology to this day?” the prosecution asked Zavala. “Yes, absolutely,” Zavala said.
In a previous statement to Insider, a church spokesperson denied the testimony of the accusers and said that “Church policy explicitly demands Scientologists abide by all laws of the land.”