Danny Masterson Faces Sentencing for Rape Convictions

Danny Masterson Faces Sentencing for Rape Convictions

Actor Danny Masterson, known for his role in “That ’70s Show,” is set to be sentenced on Thursday for the rapes of two women that occurred two decades ago. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo will preside over the sentencing, following the rejection of a defense motion for a new trial. Masterson, 47, was found guilty of two counts on May 31 by a jury consisting of seven women and five men. The assaults took place in Masterson’s Hollywood-area home in 2003, during the height of his fame on the Fox network sitcom.

The jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on a third count, which alleged that Masterson also raped a longtime girlfriend. This conviction comes after a mistrial was declared in December when a previous jury failed to reach verdicts on three counts of forcible rape. Prosecutors argued that Masterson used his prominence in the Church of Scientology, where the victims were also members at the time, to evade consequences for years after the attacks. The victims testified that when they reported the incidents to Scientology officials, they were discouraged from going to law enforcement.

Masterson did not testify during the trial, and his defense team called no witnesses. They argued that the encounters were consensual and attempted to undermine the credibility of the victims by pointing out changes and inconsistencies in their stories over time. The women testified that Masterson provided them with drinks in 2003, after which they became incapacitated before being raped. The issue of drugging was allowed to be mentioned in the second trial, but Masterson was not charged with any counts related to drugging, and there was no toxicology evidence presented.

Danny Masterson starred alongside Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and Topher Grace in “That ’70s Show” from 1998 to 2006. He later appeared in the 2016 Netflix comedy “The Ranch” but was written off the show following the revelation of an LAPD investigation. While the investigation began before the #MeToo movement gained momentum in October 2017, Masterson’s conviction and sentencing represent a significant development in the era.

 

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

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