That ‘70s Show star Danny Masterson sentenced 30 years to life in prison for two counts of rape
The actor, best known for his role in That '70s Show, has been in custody since May
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US actor Danny Masterson, who starred in That '70s Show, has been sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for the rapes of two women two decades ago.
Masterson was handed his prison terms by Los Angeles superior court judge Charlaine F Olmedo on Thursday. A verdict came after hearing from the victims of his crimes, who detailed their trauma and suffering.
He will serve two 15-year sentences consecutively, one for each charge. He must also register as a sex offender.
There was initially three charges of rape raised against Masterson, all of which he pled not guilty to. The third charge was declared a mistrial and has since been dismissed.
The 47-year-old has been in custody since a jury found him guilty of two counts of rape back in May. It saw the Church of Scientology take centre stage, with prosecutions arguing the actor used his role in it to avoid accountability.
One woman who Masterson has been convicted of raping in 2003 said in court: "When you raped me, you stole from me. That’s what rape is, a theft of the spirit.
“You are pathetic, disturbed and completely violent. The world is better off with you in prison"
The other victim of his crimes added: "He has not shown an ounce of remorse for the pain he caused 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.”
Their testimonies detailed how Masterson had given them drinks that made them feel disorientated and pass out before he violently raped them. The attacks are understood to have taken place at his Hollywood home in 2003.
Masterson's defense attorney Shawn Holley said in his address to the court: "The errors which occurred in this case are substantial and unfortunately, led to verdicts which are not supported by the evidence. And though we have great respect for the jury in this case and for our system of justice overall, sometimes they get it wrong. And that's what happened here."
In a statement after the sentencing, the Los Angeles district attorney, George Gascón, said that “justice was finally served”.
“My hope is that this sentence will somehow bring them peace and that their bravery will be an example to others,” he said. “One of my top priorities is to ensure that Los Angeles will no longer be a hunting ground for Hollywood elite who feel entitled to prey on women."