The ‘That ’70s Show’ actor was found guilty of two counts of rape in a retrial.
Former That ’70s Show actor Danny Masterson is set to be sentenced on Thursday after being found guilty of raping two women.
A Los Angeles jury found Masterson, 47, guilty of two counts of forcible rape in May during a retrial of a case involving three women.
Count 3 against Jane Doe #3 was declared void and has since been dismissed after prosecutors said they would not retry Masterson for rape.
The probation and sentencing hearing is scheduled for Thursday at 8:30 a.m. PT.
Judge Charlaine Olmedo allowed the three Jane Does involved in the case to make victim impact statements at sentencing – the two for which he was convicted of rape, as well as the third whose count was been rejected.
Masterson pleaded not guilty to three counts of rape following charges brought by three different women, including a former girlfriend. The alleged assaults took place between 2001 and 2003. He faces up to 30 years to life in prison.
Masterson was considered a potential flight risk and was taken into custody following the verdict.
The first trial ended in a dismissal in November 2022, with the jury deadlocked and unable to reach a verdict. All three alleged victims were members of the Church of Scientology, as was Masterson. The three women said they were initially reluctant to speak to law enforcement because they claimed church teachings discouraged reporting to the police. The women ended up leaving the church.
A woman has claimed the actor put a pillow over her face in 2003 when he raped her.
Another woman, Jane Doe No. 3, who was dating Masterson at the time, claimed he raped her in 2001 while she was sleeping. She and Jane Doe No. 2 are also involved in a related civil case against Masterson and the Church of Scientology.
In his closing argument, defense attorney Philip Cohen told the jury that the women may have “altered or manipulated” their stories to bolster their case, and that they may have been motivated by “hate, revenge or the money,” KABC reported. Shortly after the jury was dismissed to begin deliberations on May 17, the defense requested a mistrial, arguing that prosecutors devoted too much of their closing arguments to the victims’ alleged drugs, according to KABC.
Olmedo denied that request, citing his ruling that prosecutors could say the women were drugged because it was “directly related to their ability to perceive the events of the incidents charged,” KABC reported.
Masterson, who was arrested in 2020, said each of the encounters was consensual. “That ’70s Show” was still on the air at the time of the three alleged rapes.
The Church of Scientology previously told ABC News that there is “no policy prohibiting or discouraging members from reporting the criminal conduct of Scientologists, or anyone else, to law enforcement.” …Church policy explicitly requires Scientologists to obey all laws of the land. »
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