In a landmark decision, Los Angeles Superior Court judge Charlaine Olmedo sentenced ‘That 70s Show’ star Danny Masterson to 30 years to life in prison for the rape of two women. The case gained notoriety due to Masterson’s affiliation with the Church of Scientology, which was accused of protecting him and silencing his victims.
The Charges and Conviction
Masterson was convicted in May after a second trial, though the jury deadlocked on a charge involving a third woman. Judge Olmedo imposed the maximum sentence allowed by law, ensuring Masterson’s eligibility for parole only after 25-1/2 years.
The Church of Scientology’s Role
The victims alleged that Masterson met them through the Church of Scientology, which discouraged them from involving law enforcement. The organization vehemently denied these claims, citing a violation of First Amendment rights. Prosecutors contended that the Church fabricated information to bias the case against Masterson.
Victim Impact Statements
During the sentencing, the victims, identified as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, delivered powerful impact statements. They detailed the emotional and psychological toll of the assaults, with one victim condemning the Church of Scientology as an “enabler and protector” for Masterson.
The Aftermath for Danny Masterson
Seated alongside his wife, Bijou Phillips, and brother, Christopher Masterson, Danny showed little emotion as the victims spoke. He chose not to address the court, and one victim offered forgiveness, declaring that the burden of his sickness was no longer hers to bear.
Legal Proceedings and Appeals
Defense attorney Shawn Holley announced Masterson’s intent to appeal, citing substantial errors in the case. The legal battle is far from over, promising further developments in the coming months.
Impact on Masterson’s Career
The allegations against Masterson had a profound impact on his career. His firing from the Netflix series ‘The Ranch’ in 2017 marked the beginning of a professional downfall for the once-prominent actor.
The sentencing of Danny Masterson marks a pivotal moment in the #MeToo movement and a victory for the survivors. It raises important questions about the influence of powerful organizations in legal proceedings. Justice has been served, but the ripple effects of this case will continue to be felt.
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What was Danny Masterson’s sentence for his crimes?
Danny Masterson was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for raping two women.
How did the Church of Scientology factor into the case?
The victims alleged that the Church of Scientology protected Masterson and discouraged them from involving law enforcement.
Will Danny Masterson be eligible for parole?
Masterson will be eligible for parole in 25-1/2 years.
What impact did the case have on Danny Masterson’s career?
The allegations led to Masterson’s firing from the Netflix series ‘The Ranch’ and significantly damaged his professional reputation.
What are the next steps in legal proceedings for Danny Masterson?
Masterson’s defense plans to appeal the conviction, citing substantial errors in the case.