The jury in a Los Angeles court has found actor Danny Masterson guilty of two counts of rape. The 8-4 verdict was reached after jurors deliberated over the course of two weeks, ending the retrial that began in March, per The Associated Press. Masterson faces up to 30 years in prison for his crimes; he will be held without bail until he is sentenced, and no date for sentencing has been set.
In June of 2020, the former That ’70s Show actor was charged with the rape of three women. Masterson pleaded not guilty, and a trial held in October of 2022 resulted in a mistrial when the jury could not reach a verdict.
Masterson was accused of drugging and forcibly raping three women, one of whom was his girlfriend, between 2001 and 2003. The verdict reached in this case found him guilty of two of the three counts.
Masterson’s defense team argued that all of the sexual encounters were consensual, though the women testifying described being drugged by Masterson and waking up to find him raping them.
The women also described reporting Masterson’s actions to the Church of Scientology, of where he is a prominent member, and enduring harassment and intimidation from the church after they came forward. Two of the accusers have filed a civil lawsuit against the church as a result of their harassment.
As a result of the rape accusations, which first surfaced in 2017, Masterson was written off his Netflix series The Ranch, and the character that he made famous, Steven Hyde, was not included in the recent That ’70s Show reboot, That ’90s Show.
If you or someone you know needs to reach out about sexual abuse or assault, RAINN is available 24/7 at 800-656-HOPE (4673), or online at RAINN.org.
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