Danny Masterson has been sentenced to 30 years to life in prison after being found guilty of raping two women.
Masterson, who is best known for his role as Steven Hyde in That ’70s Show, was convicted on two forcible rape charges back in June. He was accused of raping three women between the years of 2001 and 2003 while the series was on air.
The jury only found sufficient evidence to reach a verdict on two of the three allegations but Masterson has consistently denied these claims.
During the sentencing, the three women involved in the case told the judge that their lives had been ruined by Masterson’s crimes and asked him to sentence the actor to life behind bars.
“I still have to contend with what you did to me that night… That takes a life’s worth of therapy to repair. Every time I think I’m okay, that rape comes back to me,” one of the women, whose identity has been kept anonymous, told the court.
“When you raped me, you stole from me. That’s what rape is, a theft of the spirit. You are pathetic, disturbed, and completely violent. The world is better off with you in prison,” another victim said.
“You relish in hurting women. It is your addiction. It is without question your favourite thing to do,” another victim said in an impact statement, per journalist Meghann Cuniff.
As California Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo sentenced Masterson, he made a powerful statement to remind the actor that he is “not the victim here”.
“I know that you’re sitting here steadfast in your claims of innocence, and thus no doubt feeling victimised by a justice system that has failed you,” she began, per the Sydney Morning Herald.
“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.”
Masterson was sentenced with the maximum allowed by law. He will be eligible for parole after serving 25 and a half years but can be held in prison for life.
In 2017, the Los Angeles Police Department had confirmed it opened an investigation into Masterston in relation to the sexual assault of three women. Later that year, he was fired from his Netflix show The Ranch.
Masterson was then charged with three counts of rape in 2020. At the time, Masterson’s attorney Tom Meserau said that he was confident Masteron would be “exonerated”.
“Mr. Masterson is innocent, and we’re confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify,” he said.
The case went to trial in 2022 but it was declared a mistrial after the jury became “hopelessly deadlocked”.
It resumed in June this year, with the prosecution alleging that Masterson had drugged the women prior to raping them and used his celebrity status as a celebrity and member of The Church Of Scientology to avoid the consequences.
Help is available.
If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.
If you’d like to speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.
Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.