(*30*) Masterson Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison After Rape Charges – Variety
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(*30*) Masterson has been sentenced to 30 years to life in jail, after being convicted for rape earlier this yr.
Masterson, finest identified for starring on the hit Fox sitcom “That 70’s Present” and in Netflix’s “The Ranch,” was dealing with a possible sentence of 30 years to life in jail.
The actor, who maintains his innocence, was convicted on two of three forcible rape fees this previous Could. Masterson was accused of raping three girls at his Hollywood Hills house between 2001 and 2003, which was through the time he was on “That 70’s Present.” The jury convicted him of raping two girls in 2003, however couldn’t attain a verdict on an allegation from November 2001 involving a former girlfriend, although the jurors voted in favor of conviction.
On the sentencing, the three girls in the case informed the decide that Masterson’s crimes had ruined their lives, and requested the decide to give Masterson life behind bars. Jane Doe 1 known as the actor “a real coward and heartless monster.” Jane Doe 2 mentioned to Masterson throughout the courtroom, “I nonetheless have to take care of what you probably did to me that night time… That takes a life’s value of remedy to restore. Each time I believe I’m okay, that rape comes again to me.” Jane Doe 3 informed the decide that she has been recognized with PTSD.
Masterson, who was dressed in a go well with and had slicked-back hair with a full-grown beard, didn’t communicate at his sentencing.
Lots of Masterson’s Hollywood relations have been in court docket on Thursday morning to help him at his sentencing. His spouse, the actor and mannequin Bijou Phillips, was crying on the courthouse. His siblings, “The Strolling Useless” actor Alanna Masterson, “Malcolm Within the Center” star Christopher Masterson and actor Jordan Masterson, have been all seated in the courtroom collectively.
“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 have been prison, and that’s the reason you might be right here,” Choose Charlaine Olmedo mentioned, as she sentenced Masterson on Thursday in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom. The decide sentenced Masterson for 15 years to life on every of the 2 fees, ordering Masterson to serve each phrases consecutively.
The trial that ended with a conviction in Could 2023 marked Masterson’s second trial for a similar fees.
The primary trial ended in November 2022 with a hung jury, however the decide opted to re-try the case in entrance of a brand new set of jurors. The main distinction between the 2 trials associated to the allegation of drugging. Within the first trial, the ladies testified that they felt weak or woozy and had little reminiscence after taking a drink ready by Masterson, however the prosecution didn’t outright say that Masterson had drugged the ladies. Within the retrial, prosecutors argued that Masterson had in truth drugged them.
Each trials shined a lightweight on the Church of Scientology, and the decision marked a surprising downfall for considered one of Scientology’s most outstanding movie star members. Masterson is a lifelong member and all three victims have been Scientologists on the time of their assaults, however have since left the church.
On the sentencing, Leah Remini — a former Scientologist, who’s Hollywood’s most outstanding critic of the church — was seated in the entrance row of the gallery to help the ladies. After Masterson was sentenced, Remini launched a press release on social media, largely about Scientology: “Sitting in court docket immediately with the ladies who survived (*30*) Masterson’s predation was a surreal expertise,” she tweeted. “I’m relieved that this harmful rapist will likely be off the streets and unable to violently assault and rape girls with the assistance of Scientology, a multi-billion-dollar prison group with tax-exempt standing.”
The three Jane Does mentioned — each on the sentencing and in testimony — that the church dissuaded them from reporting Masterson to the police. Prosecutors argued all through the trial that Masterson had taken benefit of his place in the church to rape girls with out concern of repercussion, and that the church forbid girls from going to the police to report sexual assault.
Jane Doe 2 informed the decide on Thursday that she had been a “brainwashed member” of Scientology on the time of her assault, and alleged that the church had made “concerted efforts” to cowl up Masterson’s habits. Since coming ahead along with her allegations, she claimed she has “had my privateness invaded nearly every day by the cult of Scientology.”
Jane Doe 1, a second-generation Scientologist who was born into the church, mentioned throughout her sufferer affect assertion that she adopted “coverage” when she was a member not to report her alleged rape to outdoors authorities. “There are penalties,” she mentioned. “It was the one neighborhood I knew my entire life till I used to be raped by Mr. Masterson… (*30*) was a star and due to this fact, closely protected by Scientology.” She mentioned that after she went to the LAPD, she was “deemed an enemy of the group” and “misplaced the flexibility to be in contact with each particular person I’d identified or beloved,” and significantly thought-about suicide.
Masterson’s attorneys tried to downplay the function of Scientology all through each trials. His attorneys confused to the jury that they can’t be biased in opposition to any faith, telling jurors throughout trial, “Scientology shouldn’t be a defendant” and that “Scientology shouldn’t be a component of this case.”
Masterson’s protection, led by attorneys Phillip Cohen and Shawn Holley, requested the decide for a 15-year sentence. Holley informed the decide she didn’t intend to “decrease the conduct” of her shopper, however requested the court docket to think about her shopper’s “exemplary life,” noting his neighborhood service, work ethic and being an “extraordinary father” to his 9-year-old daughter who “means the world to him.”
The prosecution was lead by Los Angeles deputy district attorneys Reinhold Mueller and Ariel Anson, who requested for 30 years to life. Mueller mentioned that whether or not Masterson is nice father “doesn’t preclude one from changing into a violent, serial rapist” and known as his crimes “focused” and “heinous,” telling the decide that he carried out his actions whereas girls have been “incapacitated,” after “drugging” them.
“These are a number of victims over time on totally different events,” Mueller informed the decide, in asking for the harshest sentence. “After [he] raped the primary, he had time to take into consideration what he had carried out to that human being…and regardless of that, he went forward and dedicated once more. And dedicated once more.”
After the sentencing, Masterson’s legal professional informed reporters outdoors the courthouse that he plans to attraction his conviction.
“The errors which occurred in this case are substantial, and sadly led to verdicts which aren’t supported by proof,” Holley mentioned to the media.
Alison Anderson, the legal professional representing Jane Doe 2 and Jane Doe 3, praised her purchasers in a press release to Variety, figuring out them by their first names: “Niesha and Chrissie have displayed super energy and bravado, by coming ahead to legislation enforcement and taking part immediately in two grueling prison trials. Regardless of persistent harassment, obstruction and intimidation, these brave girls helped maintain a ruthless sexual predator accountable immediately, and they don’t seem to be stopping there. They’re keen to quickly inform the fuller story of how Scientology and its enablers tried desperately to maintain them from coming ahead.”
Shortly earlier than Masterson was sentenced, one of many girls mentioned she forgives the actor, however believes he deserves to be in jail for the remainder of his life.
“I don’t have to carry round your disgrace round with me. Now, you may have to carry it. You might have to sit in a cell and carry it,” Jane Doe 2 mentioned in the courtroom. “Your vacancy and your cowardice will likely be your true legacy. You’re pathetic, disturbed and very violent. The world is safer with you behind bars.”