In a startling turn of events, actor Danny Masterson, best known for his role in “That ’70s Show,” has been sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for the heinous crime of rape. Two brave survivors who came forward revealed that the Church of Scientology actively shielded Masterson and employed intimidation tactics to silence them.
Masterson, a prominent figure within Scientology, starred in the beloved retro TV comedy for eight seasons until 2006. Convicted in a second trial this May, a jury was unable to reach a verdict on a charge involving a third woman.
Presiding Judge Charlaine Olmedo of Los Angeles Superior Court handed down the most severe sentence permitted by law. Masterson, who has been in custody since his conviction, will become eligible for parole in 25-1/2 years.
This case has drawn significant attention due to the fact that Masterson met his victims through the Church of Scientology, and they alleged that the organization actively discouraged them from seeking help from law enforcement.
The Church of Scientology vehemently refuted these claims, arguing that Masterson’s religious affiliation should not have played a role in the case, deeming it “an unprecedented violation of the First Amendment.”
Following the sentencing, the organization accused prosecutors of employing Scientology and “fabrications about the Church to introduce prejudice and inflame bigotry.”
The survivors recounted horrifying experiences, with Masterson drugging and sexually assaulting them in separate incidents between 2001 and 2003 at his residence in the Hollywood Hills.
With his wife, actor Bijou Phillips, and his brother, “Malcolm in the Middle” actor Christopher Masterson, seated nearby, Danny Masterson displayed minimal reaction as the victims delivered their impact statements. Though given the opportunity to speak, he declined.
“I forgive you. Your sickness is no longer mine to bear,” expressed one victim identified as Jane Doe 2 in the case. She was a member of the Church of Scientology when she encountered Masterson and described the religious organization as an “enabler and protector” for him. She also revealed feeling “terrorized and harassed” by the church when attempting to speak out about her assault.
“Rape is a theft of the spirit,” she added, disclosing that she developed PTSD and saw her once-promising acting career wither away.
LEAH REMINI OFFERS SUPPORT TO VICTIM The other victim, identified as Jane Doe 1, disclosed that her mother, a Scientologist, disowned her after she criticized the group during the trial.
“I didn’t choose to be born in Scientology just like I didn’t choose to be raped,” she asserted, accusing the organization of trying to silence and intimidate her throughout the rape case.
“King of Queens” actor Leah Remini, a former Scientologist and vocal critic of the organization, stood in solidarity with Jane Doe 1 as she addressed the court.
Both survivors implored the judge to impose a life sentence on Masterson, contending that he had irreparably altered their lives.
The victims were hailed for their strength and dedication to ensuring justice was served. Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller expressed this sentiment following the sentencing.
Defense attorney Shawn Holley announced that Masterson intends to appeal, citing what she characterized as significant errors in the case.
The allegations against Masterson had a detrimental impact on his career. In 2017, when he was initially accused of sexually assaulting multiple women, he was fired from the Netflix series “The Ranch.”
Reporting by Lisa Richwine; edited by Jonathan Oatis and Cynthia Osterman.