American Actor Danny Masterson Sentence To 30years In Prison For Rapes

On Thursday, September 7th, American actor Danny Masterson faced a potential prison sentence of up to 30 years to life for the rapes of two women that occurred two decades ago. The 47-year-old actor was found guilty of two counts of forcible rape in a Los Angeles retrial involving three women. The third count against Jane Doe No. 3 was declared a mistrial and subsequently dismissed by prosecutors.

Judge Charlaine Olmedo scheduled a probation and sentencing hearing for 8:30 a.m. PT on the same day. During the sentencing, all three Jane Does in the case were permitted to provide victim impact statements, including the two whose cases resulted in convictions, as well as the third whose count was dismissed.

Masterson had pleaded not guilty to three counts of felony rape stemming from accusations made by three different women, one of whom was a former girlfriend. These alleged assaults occurred between 2001 and 2003. Due to concerns that he might flee, Masterson was remanded into custody following the guilty verdict.

The initial trial in November 2022 ended in a mistrial when the jury could not reach a verdict. All three alleged victims were members of the Church of Scientology, as was Masterson. They initially hesitated to report the incidents to law enforcement, citing teachings from the church discouraging such actions. Eventually, all three women left the church.

Prosecutors alleged that Masterson used his prominence in the Church of Scientology to avoid consequences for decades after the attacks. The women claimed the church contributed to their reluctance to report Masterson to the police, as they were told they were not raped, put through ethics programs themselves, and warned against involving law enforcement.

In contrast, Masterson contended that all encounters were consensual. “That ’70s Show” was still airing at the time of the alleged rapes.

In his closing argument, defense attorney Philip Cohen suggested that the women might have altered their stories to strengthen their case and implied possible motivations of “hatred, revenge, or money.” The defense also sought a mistrial, claiming that prosecutors focused too much on the alleged drugging of the victims during their closing arguments, but this request was denied by Judge Olmedo.

The Church of Scientology, in response to the verdict, stated that the “testimony and descriptions of Scientology beliefs” during the trial were “uniformly false” and asserted that their policies did not discourage members from reporting criminal conduct to law enforcement.

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