‘That 70’s Present’ actor Masterson sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for raping two women
LOS ANGELES, Sept 7 (Reuters) – “That ’70s Present” actor Danny Masterson was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for raping two women who on Thursday stated that the Church of Scientology sought to shield the actor and intimidate them into silence.
The 47-year-old actor and distinguished Scientologist, who starred in the retro TV comedy for eight seasons till 2006, was convicted in Might in a second trial. A jury deadlocked on a cost that he raped a 3rd lady.
Decide Charlaine Olmedo of Los Angeles Superior Courtroom imposed the utmost sentence allowed by regulation. Masterson, who has been in jail since his conviction, might be eligible for parole in 25-1/2 years.
The case drew consideration in half as a result of Masterson met the women by the Church of Scientology, and his accusers stated the group discouraged them from contacting regulation enforcement.
The Church of Scientology denied that declare and stated Masterson’s faith mustn’t have been a difficulty in the case, calling it “an unprecedented violation of the First Modification.”
Prosecutors based mostly the case on Scientology and “fabrications in regards to the Church to introduce prejudice and inflame bigotry,” the group stated after the sentencing.
The women stated Masterson drugged and raped them in separate incidents between 2001 and 2003 at his home in the Hollywood Hills.
Along with his spouse, actor Bijou Phillips, and his brother, “Malcolm in the Center” actor Christopher Masterson seated close by, Masterson confirmed little response on Thursday because the women gave sufferer affect statements. He was supplied the possibility to communicate, however declined.
“I forgive you. Your illness is not mine to bear,” stated one sufferer, recognized as Jane Doe 2 in the case.
The girl, who was a member of the Church of Scientology when she met Masterson, described the non secular group as an “enabler and protector” for him and stated she was “terrorized and harassed” by the church when she tried to communicate out about her rape.
“Rape is a theft of the spirit,” she stated, including that she developed PTSD and her promising appearing profession withered.
LEAH REMINI SUPPORTS VICTIM
The opposite sufferer, recognized as Jane Doe 1, stated her mom is a Scientologist who disowned her after she criticized the group through the trial.
“I didn’t select to be born in Scientology identical to I didn’t select to be raped,” she stated, accusing the group of looking for to silence and intimidate her in the rape case.
“King of Queens” actor Leah Remini, a former Scientologist and vocal critic of the group, stood along with her arms round Jane Doe 1 as she spoke in courtroom.
The victims informed the choose that Masterson ruined their lives and requested that he obtain a sentence of life in prison.
The victims had been “sturdy, they had been dedicated to ensuring that justice will get served and right this moment they obtained it,” stated Deputy District Legal professional Reinhold Mueller after the sentencing.
Protection lawyer Shawn Holley stated Masterson deliberate to enchantment based mostly what she described as substantial errors in the case.
Allegations in opposition to Masterson harm his profession. When he was first accused of sexually assaulting a number of women in 2017, he was fired from the Netflix collection “The Ranch.”
Reporting by Lisa Richwine; enhancing by Jonathan Oatis and Cynthia Osterman
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