Actor Danny Masterson Gets 30 Years to Life for Rapes

'That '70s Show' star was convicted in two assaults
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 7, 2023 1:55 PM CDT
Actor Danny Masterson Gets 30 Years to Life for Rapes
Danny Masterson appears at the CMT Music Awards in Nashville, Tenn., in 2017.   (Photo by Wade Payne/Invision/AP, File)

A judge sentenced That '70s Show star Danny Masterson to 30 years to life in prison Thursday for the rapes of two women two decades ago. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo handed down the sentence to the 47-year-old Masterson after hearing statements from the women about the trauma they experienced and the suffering caused by the disturbing memories in the years since, per the AP. The actor, who has been in custody since May, sat in court wearing a suit. Masterson watched the women without visible reaction as they spoke.

"When you raped me, you stole from me," said one woman who Masterson was convicted of raping in 2003. "That's what rape is, a theft of the spirit," she said. "You are pathetic, disturbed, and completely violent, (and) the world is better off with you in prison." The other woman said he "has not shown an ounce of remorse for the pain he caused." She told the judge: "I knew he belonged behind bars for the safety of all the women he came into contact with. I am so sorry, and I'm so upset. I wish I'd reported him sooner to the police."

Both attacks took place in Masterson's Hollywood-area home in 2003, when he was at the height of his fame on the Fox sitcom That '70s Show. The jury could not reach a verdict on a third alleged rape. Prosecutors alleged that Masterson used his prominence in the Church of Scientology—where all three women were also members at the time—to avoid consequences for decades. The women blamed the church for their hesitancy in going to police about Masterson. They testified that when they reported him to Scientology officials, they were told they were not raped, were put through ethics programs themselves, and were warned against going to law enforcement to report a member of such high standing.

(More Danny Masterson stories.)

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