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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Danny Masterson Is Sentenced to 30 Years to Life in Jail for Two Rapes

Danny Masterson, the actor finest identified for his position within the sitcom “That ’70s Present,” was sentenced to 30 years to life in jail on Thursday for the rapes of two ladies when he was on the top of his profession greater than 20 years in the past.

Decide Charlaine F. Olmedo of Los Angeles Superior Courtroom handed the sentence down after listening to statements from the ladies, who described the lasting affect of Masterson’s actions on their lives.

“The physique is a relentless witness,” one of many accusers, recognized as N. Trout, mentioned in a press release that was learn aloud within the courtroom on Thursday. “Whenever you raped me you stole from me,” she mentioned. “That’s what rape is, a theft of the spirit.”

George Gascón, the Los Angeles district lawyer, mentioned he hoped the ladies’s bravery could be an instance to others. “Justice was lastly served at this time,” he mentioned, noting that one in every of his high priorities was to make sure “Los Angeles will not be a looking floor for Hollywood elite who really feel entitled to prey on ladies.”

Shawn Holley, a lawyer for Masterson, instructed reporters exterior the courtroom that she was “very upset” within the sentence, noting {that a} crew of legal professionals had reviewed the case and located “quite a lot of vital evidentiary and constitutional points” that they deliberate to to make use of in appeals.

“Although now we have nice respect for the jury, and for our system of justice, generally they get it flawed — and that’s what occurred right here,” Holley mentioned, noting that Masterson maintains his innocence.

Masterson, 47, can be eligible for parole in 20 years, in keeping with the Los Angeles County District Legal professional’s Workplace.

Masterson performed Steven Hyde on “That ’70s Present” from 1998 to 2006 and likewise starred within the tv comedy “Males at Work” from 2012 to 2014. Extra lately, he appeared within the Netflix comedy “The Ranch,” however was fired from the present in 2017 after the rape allegations emerged.

The case towards Masterson drew widespread consideration, and at instances mirrored a tv saga, partly due to accusations that the Church of Scientology, to which Masterson belonged, had tried to discourage his accusers.

In Might, Masterson was convicted of raping two ladies at his dwelling within the Hollywood Hills within the early 2000s. The jury deadlocked on a cost that the actor had raped a 3rd lady.

The blended verdict was delivered after a jury deadlocked on all three expenses in November, leading to a mistrial.

The retrial this spring lasted greater than a month earlier than Masterson was discovered responsible of two counts of rape by power or worry.

The authorized case towards Masterson started unfolding in 2020, when he was charged with three counts. He pleaded not responsible.

The case was intently watched not solely as a result of it concerned a Hollywood star on trial within the #MeToo period but in addition as a result of two of the ladies had accused the Church of Scientology, to which in addition they belonged, of discouraging them from reporting the rapes to the authorities. The church denied that it pressured the victims.

One accuser, who was recognized as Christina B. and who mentioned Masterson raped her in 2001 after they had been in a relationship, reported the rape to the church’s “ethics officer,” in keeping with courtroom paperwork. That officer instructed her, in keeping with the paperwork, “You’ll be able to’t rape somebody that you just’re in a relationship with” and “Don’t say that phrase once more.” In Might, the jury deadlocked on the cost associated to her accusation.

Courtroom paperwork additionally mentioned that Masterson had raped one other lady, recognized as Jen B., in April 2003 after he gave her a drink. Jen B., who sought the church’s permission to report the rape, later acquired a written response from the church’s worldwide chief justice that cited a 1965 coverage letter, which for her raised issues she may very well be ousted from her household and mates if she reported a fellow Scientologist to the police. Nonetheless, she reported the rape in 2004.

The third accuser, who was recognized as N. Trout and who was raped in 2003, didn’t inform the church however shared it together with her mom and finest pal. “You probably have a authorized scenario with one other member of the church, it’s possible you’ll not deal with it externally from the church, and it’s very specific,” she mentioned, in keeping with courtroom paperwork. She added that she “felt sufficiently intimidated by the repercussions.”

The church has maintained that it’s not a celebration to the case, and shouldn’t be implicated. “There may be not a scintilla of proof supporting the scandalous allegations that the Church harassed the accusers,” it mentioned in a press release following the sentencing.

However Alison Anderson, a lawyer for 2 of the accusers, mentioned that her purchasers deliberate to proceed holding the church accountable for trying to silence them.

“Regardless of persistent harassment, obstruction and intimidation, these brave ladies helped maintain a ruthless sexual predator accountable at this time,” Anderson mentioned. “They’re desirous to quickly inform the fuller story of how Scientology and its enablers tried desperately to maintain them from coming ahead.”

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