Danny Masterson was sentenced to 30 years to life in jail Thursday after being discovered responsible of two counts of forcible rape in Could.
The That 70’s Present actor confronted 30 years in jail on the 2 convictions, the decision of which got here within the second rape trial in opposition to Masterson after the jury deadlocked in his first trial, leading to a mistrial. (Masterson was charged with three counts of forcible rape, however the jury was unable to return to a unanimous determination on the third depend.)
Following influence statements from the three victims, Masterson’s lawyer notified the court docket that the actor opted to not make his personal assertion previous to sentencing.
“Whenever you raped me, you stole from me. That’s what rape is, a theft of the spirit,” one of many victims mentioned throughout influence statements. “You might be pathetic, disturbed and fully violent. The world is healthier off with you in jail.”
After the choose denied the protection’s request for a brand new (and third) trial, Masterson’s legal professionals requested that the 2 sentences be concurrent as a substitute of consecutive. Nonetheless, the choose disagreed, sentencing the 47-year-old disgraced actor to jail for the following three many years and probably past.
“Mr. Masterson, I do know that you simply’re sitting right here steadfast in your claims of innocence, and thus little question feeling victimized by a justice system that has failed you,” Decide Charlaine Olmedo mentioned throughout sentencing (through Selection). “However Mr. Masterson, you aren’t the sufferer right here. Your actions 20 years in the past took away one other particular person’s voice and selection. Your actions 20 years in the past had been prison, and that’s the reason you might be right here.”
The Could 31 verdict adopted a month-long trial of emotional testimony from the three ladies whose allegations are linked to the fees, recalling violent allegations that Masterson drugged them earlier than raping them. The victims additionally claimed that the Church of Scientology protected Masterson and discouraged them from coming ahead with their allegations.
“We need to categorical our gratitude to the three ladies who got here ahead and bravely shared their experiences. Their braveness and energy have been an inspiration to us all,” District Legal professional George Gascón mentioned in an announcement after the responsible verdict. “Whereas we’re upset that the jury didn’t convict on all counts, we respect their determination. The verdicts handed down by the jury on this case had been undoubtedly a troublesome one to succeed in and we thank the jurors for his or her service.”
The Church of Scientology was a significant subject all through the trial. Masterson is a outstanding Scientologist, and the entire ladies who accused him are former members of the group. The ladies advised the court docket that the group had advised them that they couldn’t have been raped and going to the authorities might result in extreme repercussions from the church. Representatives for the group have denied the claims, calling them fabrications.
Masterson additionally faces a civil swimsuit from the accusers, which was scheduled to go to trial following the prison proceedings.
The third Jane Doe accuser — who beforehand publicly recognized herself as Chrissie Carnell Bixler, spouse of Mars Volta’s Cedric Bixler-Zavala — expressed her disappointment that the jury didn’t convict him on the fees tied to her allegations however equally mentioned she hopes to search out justice within the civil trial.
“I thank the jury for its service, and whereas I’m inspired that Danny Masterson will face some prison punishment, I’m devastated that he has dodged prison accountability for his heinous conduct in opposition to me,” she mentioned. “Regardless of my disappointment on this final result, I stay decided to safe justice, together with in civil court docket, the place I, together with my co-plaintiffs, will shine a lightweight on how Scientology and different conspirators enabled and sought to cowl up Masterson’s monstrous conduct.”
“Niesha and Chrissie have displayed super energy and bravado, by coming ahead to legislation enforcement and collaborating instantly in two grueling prison trials,” Alison Anderson, lawyer for Jane Does 2 and three, mentioned in an announcement Thursday to Rolling Stone.
“Regardless of persistent harassment, obstruction and intimidation, these brave ladies helped maintain a ruthless sexual predator accountable immediately, and they don’t seem to be stopping there. They’re wanting to quickly inform the fuller story of how Scientology and its enablers tried desperately to maintain them from coming ahead. They’re wanting to quickly inform the fuller story of how Scientology and its enablers tried desperately to maintain them from coming ahead.”