Danny Masterson Receives 30 Years to Life Sentence for Rape Convictions.

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Danny Masterson in The 70's Show.

Danny Masterson, the US actor known for his role in « That ’70s Show, » has been handed a prison sentence of 30 years to life for the rape of two women. The incidents occurred during the early 2000s when the TV show was on air.

Danny Masterson, the US actor known for his role in « That ’70s Show, » has been handed a prison sentence of 30 years to life for the rape of two women. The incidents occurred during the early 2000s when the TV show was on air.

The prosecution highlighted Masterson’s prominent position within the Church of Scientology, suggesting he used it to evade responsibility. Judge Charlaine Olmedo permitted the victims to share their impact statements in court before announcing the sentence.

Leah Remini, a notable ex-Scientologist and actress, was present during the sentencing, offering support to the victims. One victim expressed regret for not reporting Masterson sooner, as reported by US media outlets.

Throughout the proceedings, Masterson chose not to speak. His wife, Bijou Phillips, was visibly emotional as the judge announced the maximum allowable sentence.

Masterson faced a re-trial and was convicted in May after the initial jury failed to reach a consensus in 2022. Three women testified that Masterson sexually assaulted them between 2001-03, alleging he drugged them prior. He was convicted of raping two out of the three. The third case resulted in a mistrial, with no plans for a re-trial by the prosecutors.

Post-conviction, due to concerns of him fleeing, Masterson was immediately incarcerated.

The rape allegations against Masterson emerged in 2017, amidst the #MeToo movement. He consistently denied the claims, asserting the encounters were consensual. The charges followed a three-year investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department. Two other cases were dismissed due to a lack of evidence and the expiration of the statute of limitations.

The trial saw allegations that the Church of Scientology played a role in concealing the assaults, which the Church vehemently denies. Both Masterson and the accusers were members of the Church at the time of the incidents. Some victims claimed the Church discouraged them from reporting the crimes. Allegedly, one victim was offered $400,000 (£320,000) and a non-disclosure agreement by Church officials.

The trial permitted discussions on Scientology’s beliefs and practices, causing discontent within the religious group. The Church, post-verdict, stated there was no evidence supporting claims of their involvement in intimidating the victims.

Jessica Barth, founder of Voices in Action and one of the first to accuse Harvey Weinstein, attended the sentencing. Her organization aims to empower individuals to report abuse.

Before the sentencing, the judge rejected a request for a new trial from Masterson’s lawyers, as confirmed by an LA court official.