Danny Masterson Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison After Rape Conviction

Danny Masterson, the actor best known for playing Steven Hyde on That ’70s Show, was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison on Sept. 7 for forcibly raping two women? after being found guilty in a retrial earlier this year.

via: Variety

Masterson, best known for starring on the hit Fox sitcom “That 70’s Show” and in Netflix’s “The Ranch,” was facing a potential sentence of 30 years to life in prison.

The actor, who maintains his innocence, was convicted on two of three forcible rape charges this past May. Masterson was accused of raping three women at his Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003, which was during the time he was on “That 70’s Show.” The jury convicted him of raping two women in 2003, but could not reach a verdict on an allegation from November 2001 involving a former girlfriend, though the jurors voted in favor of conviction.

At the sentencing, the three women in the case told the judge that Masterson’s crimes had ruined their lives, and asked the judge to give Masterson life behind bars. Jane Doe 1 called the actor “a true coward and heartless monster.” Jane Doe 2 said to Masterson across the courtroom, “I still have to contend with what you did to me that night… That takes a life’s worth of therapy to repair. Every time I think I’m okay, that rape comes back to me.” Jane Doe 3 told the judge that she has been diagnosed with PTSD.

Masterson, who was dressed in a suit and had slicked-back hair with a full-grown beard, did not speak at his sentencing.

Many of Masterson’s Hollywood family members were in court on Thursday morning to support him at his sentencing. His wife, the actor and model Bijou Phillips, was crying at the courthouse. His siblings, “The Walking Dead” actor Alanna Masterson, “Malcolm In the Middle” star Christopher Masterson and actor Jordan Masterson, were all seated in the courtroom together.

“Mr. Masterson, you are not the victim here. Your actions 20 years ago took away another person’s voice and choice. Your actions 20 years ago were criminal, and that is why you are here,” Judge Charlaine Olmedo said, as she sentenced Masterson on Thursday in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom. The judge sentenced Masterson for 15 years to life on each of the two charges, ordering Masterson to serve both terms consecutively.

The trial that ended with a conviction in May 2023 marked Masterson’s second trial for the same charges.

The first trial ended in November 2022 with a hung jury, but the judge opted to re-try the case in front of a new set of jurors. The major difference between the two trials related to the allegation of drugging. In the first trial, the women testified that they felt weak or woozy and had little memory after taking a drink prepared by Masterson, but the prosecution did not outright say that Masterson had drugged the women. In the retrial, prosecutors argued that Masterson had in fact drugged them.

Both trials shined a light on the Church of Scientology, and the verdict marked a stunning downfall for one of Scientology’s most prominent celebrity members. Masterson is a lifelong member and all three victims were Scientologists at the time of their assaults, but have since left the church.

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