Actor Danny Masterson found guilty on 2 counts in rape retrial

Actor Danny Masterson was found guilty in his Los Angeles retrial Wednesday of two counts of forcible rape. Masterson could face 30 years in prison when he is sentenced in August. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

June 1 (UPI) — A jury in Los Angeles has found “That 70s Show” star Danny Masterson guilty of two counts of rape in a retrial that could send the 47-year-old actor to prison for 30 years when he is sentenced in August.

The jury of seven women and five men reached its verdict Wednesday, convicting Masterson on two counts of forcible rape following seven days of deliberation. The jury declared a mistrial on a third count alleging Masterson raped a longtime girlfriend.

Since Masterson was considered a flight risk, he was handcuffed and taken into custody immediately after the verdict was announced.

“I am experiencing a complex array of emotions — relief, exhaustion, strength, sadness — knowing that my abuser, Danny Masterson, will face accountability for his criminal behavior,” one of the women, whom Masterson was convicted of raping, said in a statement.

“I thank the jury for its service, and while I’m encouraged that Danny Masterson will face some criminal punishment, I am devastated that he has dodged criminal accountability for his heinous conduct against me,” the woman, whose allegations resulted in a mistrial, said Wednesday.

Masterson, who was arrested in 2020, claimed each of the encounters with the three women between 2001 and 2003 was consensual. Prosecutors argued Masterson drugged and “forcibly raped” the women as the Church of Scientology protected the actor.

Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller said some of the women reported Masterson’s abuse to the church and were told it was their fault and that they were required to “give [Masterson] sex when he wants it.”

Members of Scientology, under church rules, are banned from reporting other members to law enforcement, according to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo, who oversaw Masterson’s first trial.

Attorneys for Masterson, who is a high-ranking member of the Church of Scientology, sought to discredit the testimony of his three accusers in the first trial by claiming they were motivated to lie over money, anger and jealousy.

That five-week trial ended in a mistrial last November.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here