(NewsReady.com) – Danny Masterson, a star of “That ’70s Show,” has been handed a sentence that could see him spend the rest of his life in prison. In May, Masterson was convicted of two rapes. Now, after hearing from his victims, a judge has sought to teach him a tough lesson.
In 2003, Masterson was at the height of his popularity for his role as rebel Steven Hyde in “That ’70s Show” — but he was allegedly hiding a dark secret. Masterson, a Scientologist, had raped two female members of the cult at his home in Los Angeles, California. The assaults didn’t become public until 2017, when three women filed complaints against him, triggering an LAPD investigation. Within weeks, two more women had made similar allegations.
Masterson denied the allegations, and his victims claimed they were subsequently harassed by Scientologists. In 2019, four women sued Masterson and the Church of Scientology for waging a “Fair Game” campaign against them. “Fair Game” is a Scientology policy that encourages members to harass anyone who criticizes the cult. Scientologists have even argued in court that harassing their enemies is a constitutionally protected religious practice.
Despite the harassment, Masterson’s accusers stuck to their stories, and the investigation continued. In June 2020, the actor was charged with raping three women. His lawyers managed to delay the trial date until October 11, 2022, and then, after a mistrial, he was tried again in April this year. On May 31, he was found guilty of two of the three assaults.
Masterson was then detained until sentencing, with Judge Charlaine Olmedo rejecting a defense request that he be freed until then. On September 7, she sentenced him to the 30 years to life prosecutors had asked for, and praised his victims for holding firm through the ordeal of the investigation and trial.
The actor maintains his innocence, and his attorney says the legal battle is not over yet.
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