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Danny Masterson Sentenced To 30 Years To Life In Prison

By Emily Richardson | Celebrity | September 7, 2023 |

By Emily Richardson | Celebrity | September 7, 2023 |


Today, a judge sentenced Danny Masterson to 30 years to life in prison for rape. The sentencing comes a little over three months after a retrial jury found the That ’70s Show actor guilty of raping two women between 2001 to 2003. A third woman’s (alleged) rape resulted in a deadlocked jury. All three women are former Scientologists. During both trials, prosecutors accused Danny of using his celebrity status in the Church of Scientology to escape consequences and retaliate against his victims.

Before Danny’s sentencing, the three Jane Does gave victim impact statements to the court. Deadline has the details, and they’re absolutely heartbreaking. Jane Doe #1, who’s been shunned by her Scientologist mother since going to the police almost 20 years ago, said, “I didn’t choose to be born into Scientology, just as I didn’t choose to be raped by Danny Masterson.” Jane Doe #2 says she has “severe PTSD, waves of panic attacks”, and says being raped “deformed my ability to trust others.” Jane Doe #3 was in a relationship with Danny. Her statement described how Danny “regularly abused” her and raped her “repeatedly.” She said that she “believed” the “charming” actor when he called her “stupid, untalented, trash.”

Danny’s family, including his brother, Malcolm in the Middle star Chris Masterson, appeared in the courtroom today. As did former Scientologist-turned-activist, Leah Remini. When the sentencing was announced, Danny’s wife, Bijou Phillips, “quietly wept.” Hard to feel sorry for a lady who once posed for a smiling pre-rape hearing selfie with her husband. Danny declined to address the court. Before the sentencing, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine spoke to Danny’s belief that the “criminal justice system” had failed him: “You are not the victim here … your actions 20 years ago were criminal.”

After Danny was given the maximum sentence under the law, he was taken out of court by Sheriff’s deputies to begin formally serving his time in a California state prison. He was given 150 days credit for time already served, and notified that he can file a notice of appeal within 60 days of today. The convicted rapist’s defense team is expected to appeal quickly. They’d previously sought to have Danny’s prison time for the two rapes served concurrently (so, 15 years to life as the max). But the L.A. County District Attorney’s office disagreed, and asked for 30 years to life on the basis that there were multiple victims on “multiple occasions” of “forceable rape.” The judge sided with the D.A.

47-year-old Danny was first arrested back in June 2020. He pled not guilty and was released on a $3.3 million bail. Last November, his first rape trial was declared a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a final verdict. The decision was complicated by the fact that two jurors had to be replaced after getting COVID. In April, the retrial began, and Danny was finally found guilty on two counts of rape on May 31. Since then, he’s been behind bars (hence the “time served”), awaiting his sentencing.

In addition to the rape trial, Danny’s three victims also filed a civil suit against him and the Church of Scientology back in August 2019. That case accuses Danny and his cult of harassment, stalking, and more. Now that the criminal trial has wrapped up, the civil trial will resume in a matter of weeks. The victims’ lawyer, Alison Anderson, says:

“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.”

It’s sad how surprised I am that justice has been served. My thoughts are with Danny’s victims. Courageous women indeed.