Actor Danny Masterson Found Guilty of Rape and Facing Life in Prison
After an initial mistrial, actor Danny Masterson was found guilty of two of the three rape charges he had been facing. Masterson, best known for his role in That ’70s Show, received his guilty verdict on Wednesday in downtown Los Angeles. The actor now awaits sentencing, which is set to take place on August 4th, and ranges from 30 years to life in prison.
Masterson was accused of raping three women in separate incidents that happened between 2001 and 2003 at his home. The actor initially pleaded not guilty to the charges in January of 2021, but failed to convince the judge to dismiss the trial.
One of the women claimed to have been raped by Masterson twice, once in September 2002 and April 2003. Both incidents were reported at the Hollywood police station in April 2004. The other two alleged victims are a model who had dated Masterson for five or six years, and an actress who has remained anonymous.
From the very beginning, Masterson insisted that he was innocent of all the accusations. He argued that the incidents referred to by his complainants were completely consensual. The first trial, which began in October 2022, was full of mixed accusations and scandalous edges.
During the trial, the three victims insisted that members of the Church of Scientology, which both they and Masterson belonged to, persecuted and threatened them to prevent them from filing a complaint with the police. They claimed that Scientology had used their influence to silence the women, including threats, persecution, and even the murder of one of their pets.
The defense repeatedly requested the trial to be declared a mistrial, citing cross-contamination, and the fact that all three women had spoken to each other before going to the Los Angeles Police Department. Unfortunately, the trial was deadlocked, and the judge had to order the jurors to take a week off to reflect on their positions.
The situation became more complicated when two of the jury members contracted Covid, and they had to be replaced. This led to the voting starting from scratch, but unfortunately, they still couldn’t reach an agreement, and the trial was declared null.
After the ruling, two of the women who testified expressed their disappointment. They vowed to continue their fight for justice, including in the civil courts. They alleged that Masterson, along with the Church of Scientology, its leader David Miscavige, and others, conspired to stalk, harass, and intimidate them systematically when they tried to shed light on Masterson’s actions.
After the annulment, Masterson’s attorney bolstered his team by bringing in Shawn Holley, known for having defended OJ Simpson in the trial in which he was charged with two counts of murder in 1995. Holley worked to get the case dismissed, but to no avail. The new trial began last month, and this time there was a verdict.
In conclusion, after a long and complicated trial, Danny Masterson has been found guilty of rape. He could face up to life in prison, pending a sentencing hearing scheduled for August 4th. This is a reminder that justice is possible, even when it seems impossible. The fight for justice and accountability must continue, no matter how hard the struggle.