Former “That ’70s Show” actor Danny Masterson was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison on Thursday after he was convicted 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.
Masterson will serve two 15-year sentences consecutively, one for each charge. He must also register as a sex offender.
The third count against Jane Doe No. 3 was declared a mistrial and has since been dismissed after prosecutors said they would not retry Masterson on the rape charge.
Masterson pleaded not guilty to three counts of felony rape following accusations by three different women, including a former girlfriend. The alleged attacks took place between 2001 and 2003.
At the start of the probation and sentencing hearing, Judge Charlaine Olmedo denied the defense’s motion for a new trial.
Olmedo allowed the three Jane Does in the case to give victim impact statements at the sentencing — the two he was convicted of raping, as well as the third whose count was dismissed.
In emotional remarks, Jane Doe 1 called for a life sentence for Masterson and said she wished she had reported him to police sooner. Jane Doe 2 said she forgave Masterson and his “sickness is no longer my burden to bear.”
In a statement read on her behalf in court, Jane Doe 3 thanked the judge for giving her a chance to “use my voice” and said she was given her own life sentence of several debilitating ailments, including anxiety.
Masterson’s defense attorney Shawn Holley asked the court to sentence him to 15 years to be served concurrently, as opposed to consecutively, saying that 15 years to life would be fair. She noted that Masterson had no criminal record prior to these incidents and has a young daughter.
Masterson did not speak at his sentencing hearing. His attorney continued to maintain his innocence on Thursday.
“The errors which occurred in this case are substantial and unfortunately, led to verdicts which are not supported by the evidence,” Holley said in a statement. “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.”
Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller called the sentencing a “long time coming.”
“I’m very happy for the victims because this is a day that they’ve been looking forward to and they got their justice,” Mueller told reporters after the hearing.
Mueller said one key part of the case was getting the jury to look past the time since the incidents took place.
“Just because it’s a delayed report, even if it’s been 20 years, it still matters, crime still happens, and somebody needs to be held accountable despite the length of the time,” Mueller said.
The first trial ended in a mistrial in November 2022, with the jury deadlocked and unable to reach a verdict. The three alleged victims were members of the Church of Scientology, as is Masterson. All three women said they were initially hesitant to speak to law enforcement because they said church teachings discouraged reporting to police. The women eventually left the church.
One woman claimed the actor shoved a pillow into her face in 2003 while raping her.
Another woman, Jane Doe No. 3, who was dating Masterson at the time, claimed he raped her in 2001 while she was asleep. She and Jane Doe No. 2 are also involved in a related civil case against Masterson and the Church of Scientology.
“[Jane Does 2 and 3] have displayed tremendous strength and bravery, by coming forward to law enforcement and participating directly in two grueling criminal trials,” Boies Shiller Flexner LLP partner Alison Anderson, the attorney for the two women, said in a statement. “Despite persistent harassment, obstruction and intimidation, these courageous women helped hold a ruthless sexual predator accountable today, and they are not stopping there. They are eager to soon tell the fuller story of how Scientology and its enablers tried desperately to keep them from coming forward.”
In his closing argument, defense attorney Philip Cohen told the jury the women may have “tweaked or maneuvered” their stories to bolster their case, and that they may be motivated by “hatred, revenge or money,” KABC reported. Shortly after the jury was dismissed to begin deliberations on May 17, the defense asked for a mistrial — arguing that prosecutors spent too much of their closing arguments on the alleged drugging of the victims, according to KABC.
Olmedo denied the request, citing her ruling that prosecutors could argue the women were drugged because it was “directly relevant to their ability to perceive the events of the charged incidents,” 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 all three alleged rapes.
The Church of Scientology previously told ABC News that there’s “no policy prohibiting or discouraging members from reporting criminal conduct of Scientologists, or of anyone, to law enforcement. … Church policy explicitly demands Scientologists abide by all laws of the land.”
ABC News’ Lisa Sivertson contributed to this report.