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‘That ’70s Present’ Star Danny Masterson Will get 30 Years to Life in Jail for Rape of Two Ladies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A decide sentenced “That ’70s Present” star Danny Masterson to 30 years to life in jail Thursday for the rapes of two ladies twenty years in the past.

Los Angeles Superior Courtroom Decide Charlaine F. Olmedo handed down the sentence to the 47-year-old Masterson after listening to statements from the ladies concerning the trauma they skilled and the struggling attributable to the disturbing reminiscences within the years since.

The actor, who has been in custody since Might, sat in court docket sporting a swimsuit. Masterson watched the ladies with out seen response as they spoke.

“Once you raped me, you stole from me,” stated one lady who Masterson was convicted of raping in 2003. “That’s what rape is, a theft of the spirit.”

“You’re pathetic, disturbed and utterly violent,” she stated. “The world is best off with you in jail.”

The opposite lady Masterson was discovered responsible of raping stated he “has not proven an oz. of regret for the ache he prompted.” She instructed the decide, “I knew he belonged behind bars for the protection of all the ladies he got here into contact with. I’m so sorry, and I’m so upset. I want I’d reported him sooner to the police.”

After an preliminary jury failed to succeed in verdicts on three counts of rape in December and a mistrial was declared, prosecutors retried Masterson on all three counts earlier this 12 months.

This time, a jury of seven ladies and 5 males discovered Masterson responsible of two counts on Might 31 after seven days of deliberations. Each assaults befell in Masterson’s Hollywood-area dwelling in 2003, when he was on the peak of his fame on the Fox community sitcom “That ’70s Present.”

They may not attain a verdict on the third depend, an allegation that Masterson additionally raped a longtime girlfriend. That they had voted 8-4 in favor of conviction.

The decide sentenced the actor after rejecting a protection movement for a brand new trial that was argued earlier Thursday. The protection sought to have sentences for the 2 convictions run concurrently, and requested for a sentence of 15 years to life. The prosecution requested for the complete 30 years to life sentence Masterson was eligible for.

“It’s his life that will probably be impacted by what you determine as we speak,” Masterson’s lawyer Shawn Holley instructed the decide earlier than the sentencing. “And the lifetime of his 9-year-old daughter, who means the world to him, and to whom he means the world.”

“He has lived an exemplary life, he has been a rare father, husband, brother, son, co-worker and neighborhood servant,” Holley stated.

Prosecutors alleged that Masterson used his prominence within the Church of Scientology — the place all three ladies have been additionally members on the time — to keep away from penalties for many years after the assaults.

The ladies blamed the church for his or her hesitancy in going to police about Masterson. They testified that after they reported him to Scientology officers, they have been instructed they weren’t raped, have been put by means of ethics applications themselves, and have been warned towards going to legislation enforcement to report a member of such excessive standing.

The church stated in an announcement after the decision that the “testimony and descriptions of Scientology beliefs” throughout the trial have been “uniformly false.”

“The Church has no coverage prohibiting or discouraging members from reporting felony conduct of anybody — Scientologists or not — to legislation enforcement,” the assertion stated.

Masterson didn’t testify, and his attorneys referred to as no witnesses. The protection argued that the acts have been consensual, and tried to discredit the ladies’s tales by highlighting modifications and inconsistencies over time, which they stated confirmed indicators of coordination between them.

The ladies whose testimony led to Masterson’s conviction stated that in 2003, he gave them drinks and that they then grew to become woozy or handed out earlier than he violently raped them.

Olmedo allowed prosecutors and accusers to say immediately within the second trial that Masterson drugged the ladies, whereas solely permitting the ladies to explain their situation within the first.

Masterson was not charged with any counts of drugging, and there was no toxicology proof to again up the assertion. The problem could possibly be a think about a deliberate enchantment from the protection of Masterson’s conviction.

The Related Press doesn’t usually title individuals who say they’ve been sexually abused.

Masterson starred with Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Topher Grace in “That ’70s Present” from 1998 till 2006.

He had reunited with Kutcher on the 2016 Netflix comedy “The Ranch,” however was written off the present when a Los Angeles Police Division investigation was revealed the next 12 months.

Whereas that investigation started earlier than a wave of girls shook Hollywood with tales about Harvey Weinstein in October 2017, the conviction and sentencing of Masterson nonetheless represents a significant #MeToo period success for Los Angeles prosecutors, together with the conviction of Weinstein himself final 12 months.

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