Danny Masterson sentenced to 30 years to life in prison after rape conviction | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

Actor Danny Masterson, known for his role as Steven Hyde on the sitcom “That ’70s Show,” was sentenced Thursday to 30 years to life in prison for raping two women at his home in California in the early 2000s, the Associated Press reported.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo handed down the sentence on Thursday to Masterson who sat in court wearing a suit.

“Mr. Masterson, I know that you’re sitting here steadfast in your claims of innocence, and thus no doubt feeling victimized by a justice system that has failed you,” Olmedo told Masterson before issuing the sentence, per AP. “But Mr. Masterson, you are not the victim here. Your actions 20 years ago took away another person’s voice, and choice. One way or another you will have to come to terms with your prior actions, and their consequences.”

The former sitcom actor watched as his accusers recounted the trauma they experienced, according to AP.

“When you raped me, you stole from me,” said one of the unnamed women who accused Masterson of rape in 2003. “That’s what rape is, a theft of the spirit.”

“You are pathetic, disturbed and completely violent,” she added. “The world is better off with you in prison.”

The other woman who Masterson was found guilty of raping said the actor “belonged behind bars for the safety of all the women he came into contact with. I am so sorry, and I’m so upset. I wish I’d reported him sooner to the police.”

The defense sought for the two sentences to run concurrently, according to the AP. Masterson’s lawyer Shawn Holley told the judge that the actor’s life will be “impacted by what you decide today. And the life of his 9-year-old daughter, who means the world to him, and to whom he means the world.”

Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement Thursday that the sentencing came after “a long and arduous road.”

“They not only survived his abuse, they also survived a system that is often not kind to victims,” he said. “I applaud their courage for coming forward and participating in this process. My hope is that this sentence will somehow bring them peace and that their bravery will be an example to others. I also want to thank the entire trial team.”

“One of my top priorities is to ensure that Los Angeles will no longer be a hunting ground for Hollywood elite who feel entitled to prey on women,” he added.

In May, a Los Angeles jury found Masterson, 47, guilty of two counts of forcible rape during a retrial of a case that involved three women. The actor was convicted of raping two of the women, while a mistrial was declared in the third count and later dismissed.

Representatives for Masterson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

During the trial, Judge Charlaine Olmedo allowed three unnamed women, each identified as Jane Doe, to issue statements against Masterson.

After the sentencing, Alison Anderson, a partner at Boies Schiller Flexner and attorney for two of the women, said they showed “tremendous strength and bravery, by coming forward to law enforcement and participating directly in two grueling criminal trials.”

“Despite persistent harassment, obstruction and intimidation, these courageous women helped hold a ruthless sexual predator accountable today,” she said.

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The actor has long denied the allegations against him and pleaded not guilty during his two trials, arguing that he had consensual sex with the women. But prosecutors told jurors that the actor drugged the women’s drinks so he could rape them and that he used connections to the Church of Scientology to evade consequences.

The sentencing comes after years of investigation and a mistrial that ended with a deadlocked jury in November 2022.

The actor was first was arrested and charged in 2020 after a three-year investigation during the #MeToo era. Masterson was accused of raping three women between 2001 and 2003. All three women said the alleged rapes happened in his home in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles, and that at the time they were members of the Church of Scientology.

In addition to his role on “That ’70s Show” alongside Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Topher Grace, Masterson had a career revival on the Netflix show “The Ranch,” which debuted in 2016. However, one year later, he was fired from the program after HuffPost published an article detailing rape allegations against Masterson.

The Church of Scientology has been mentioned in both trials. An alleged victim accused the church of witness intimidation in her testimony, sharing that an attorney for the church “stared at her with a really dead glare,” according to a local news account.

The Church of Scientology previously told The Washington Post it does not have a policy that prohibits “members from reporting criminal conduct of anyone, Scientologists or not, to law enforcement,” adding that the “scandalous statements about the church are complete fabrications.”

When asked for comment, the church sent over the same statement, which was originally issued in May.

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