Former “That ’70s Show” actor Danny Masterson was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison on Thursday after he was convicted of raping two women. Masterson will serve two 15-year sentences consecutively, one for each charge. He must also register as a sex offender.
A Los Angeles jury of seven women and five men found Masterson, 47, guilty of two counts of forcible rape on May 31 after seven days of deliberations. That verdict came in a second trial after a jury failed to reach verdicts on three counts of forcible rape in December and a mistrial was declared. Prosecutors alleged that Masterson used his prominence in the Church of Scientology − where all three women were also members at the time − to avoid consequences for decades after the attacks. The women blamed the church and said that when they reported him to Scientology officials, they were told they were not raped and were warned against going to law enforcement to report a member of such high standing.
Both attacks took place in Masterson’s California home in 2003, when he was at the height of his fame on the Fox sitcom “That ’70s Show.” The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on a third count, an allegation that Masterson also raped a longtime girlfriend.
LA Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo sentenced the actor after hearing statements from the women about the trauma they experienced and the suffering caused by the disturbing memories in the years since. Judge Olmedo said: “Mr Masterson, you are not the victim here. Your actions 20 years ago took away another person’s choice and voice. Your actions 20 years ago today were criminal, and that’s why you are here.”
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