'That '70s Show' actor Danny Masterson gets 30 to life over rape convictions
Masterson, 47, maintains his innocence and intends to appeal his convictions.
"That '70s Show" actor Danny Masterson received 30 years to life in prison on Thursday after being convicted of two rapes in May.
Masterson, 47, maintains his innocence and intends to appeal his convictions, the Associated Press reported.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo addressed the actor's continued denials when issuing the sentence, saying "I know that you’re sitting here steadfast in your claims of innocence, and thus no doubt feeling victimized by a justice system that has failed you. 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 is a prominent member of the Church of Scientology, a fringe religion founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard in 1953 that boasts many faithful in Hollywood's entertainment industry. The victims had been members of the church at the time. During the trial, prosecutors said the victims reported the rapes to church authorities, who dissuaded them from going to law enforcement.
The actor was also accused of raping a longtime girlfriend, though the jury failed to reach a verdict on those allegations.
Masterson's attorneys had asked that he received 15 years in prison, which would mean the sentences for each rape would run concurrently. The judge denied that motion.
Attorney Shawn Holley, who represents the actor, was defiant after the sentencing, saying "Mr. Masterson did not commit the crimes for which he was convicted."
"For the past several months, a team of the top appellate lawyers in the country has been reviewing transcripts of the trial. They have identified a number of significant evidentiary and constitutional issues which they will address in briefs to both state and federal appellate courts," Holley told reporters after the trial, per Deadline.
"The errors which occurred in this case are substantial and unfortunately led to verdicts which are not supported by the evidence. And though we have great respect for the jury in this case and for our system of justice overall, sometimes they get it wrong. And that’s what happened here," she concluded.
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.