- Danny Masterson Sentenced to 30 Years to Life in Prison
- Victims Speak About Their Trauma and Suffering
- Controversy Over Masterson’s Use of Scientology During the Trial
Prosecutors argued that Masterson used his position as a member of the Church of Scientology to evade consequences for his actions in the years following the attacks. “Testimony and descriptions of Scientology beliefs” during the trial, according to the church, were “uniformly false.”
Twenty years ago, actor Danny Masterson raped two women and was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison.
Masterson was sentenced to prison after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo heard from the women he assaulted, who described their trauma and suffering. Masterson is best known for his role in the sitcom That 70s Show.
As the two spoke, the 47-year-old American actor, who has been in custody since May, remained immobile in his suit.
“When you raped me, you stole from me,” a woman asserted.
“Violence is the theft of a person’s spirit,” as stated in the quote.
“You are pitiful, disturbed, and violent to the extreme. The planet would be better off without you.”
His other 2003 victim said Masterson “has not shown an ounce of remorse for the suffering he has caused.”
Also she told the judge, “I knew he belonged in prison for the safety of all the women he interacted with.” I’m apologetic for the reason. I wish I had reported him to the police sooner.”
After a jury failed to reach a verdict on three counts of rape in December 2022, a mistrial was declared, and he was retried on all counts.
After seven days of deliberations, he was declared guilty on two counts by a majority decision on May 31, but the jury could not reach a verdict on the third count, which allegedly involved another woman.
Masterson was sentenced after a defense petition for a new trial was denied, with his attorneys attempting to have the two 15-to-life convictions run concurrently.
“His life will be affected by your decision today,” Masterson’s attorney Shawn Holley told the judge.
“And his nine-year-old daughter’s existence, who means everything to him and to whom he means everything.
He has been an exceptional father, husband, brother, son, coworker, and community servant throughout his existence.
Prosecutors argued that he used his membership in the controversial Church of Scientology, of which the two women and one alleged victim were also members, to avoid consequences, with the women blaming the organization for their reluctance to contact the police.
In a statement, the church asserted that the trial’s “testimony and descriptions of Scientology beliefs” were “completely false.”
Scientologists and non-Scientologists can report illegal behaviour to law enforcement without restriction.
Masterson did not testify, nor did his attorneys present any witnesses; instead, the defense argued that the acts were voluntary.
The women, whose evidence led to his conviction, said that in 2003 Masterson gave them drinks that made them feel light-headed before they passed out and he assaulted them.
The eight-season 1998–2006 show That 70’s Show followed a group of Wisconsin teens in the 1970s.