Former “That ’70s Show” actor Danny Masterson was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Thursday after being convicted of rape.
Masterson was convicted in May on two counts of forcible rape stemming from sexual assaults that reportedly took place between 2001 and 2003. The jury could not reach a unanimous decision on a third charge following eight days of deliberation.
The judge listened to impact statements from both victims prior to pronouncing Masterson’s sentence.
- The victims said that Masterson drugged and raped them, and that he used his prominence in the Church of Scientology to avoid consequences for decades.
- Masterson’s legal defense team contended that the acts were consensual, seeking to challenge the credibility of the women’s accounts by emphasizing alterations and discrepancies that emerged over time.
- Masterson plans to appeal the conviction.
- The sentence is a major victory for the victims, who have waited years for justice. It is also a significant setback for the Church of Scientology, which has long been accused of covering up sexual abuse by its members.
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Reactions to the Sentence
Former Scientologist Leah Remini, who has been a vocal critic of the church, praised the sentence and said it was a “victory for all victims of Scientology.”
The Church of Scientology said it was “deeply disappointed” in the sentence and that it would appeal.
The Impact of the Sentence
The sentence is a significant victory for the victims of sexual assault and for those who have spoken out against the Church of Scientology. It is also a reminder that even powerful people can be held accountable for their crimes.
The sentence is likely to have a chilling effect on other perpetrators of sexual assault, and it is also likely to encourage other victims to come forward and report their abuse.