“That ’70s Show” actor Danny Masterson has been found guilty of two counts of forcible rape by a Los Angeles jury in a retrial involving three women.
The verdict was reached on Wednesday afternoon after six days of deliberation. Masterson had pleaded not guilty to three counts of felony rape, with the alleged attacks occurring between 2001 and 2003. The jury declared a mistrial on the third count against Jane Doe 3.
The former actor now faces a potential sentence of 30 years to life in prison, and a sentencing hearing has been scheduled for August 4.
Following the verdict, Masterson was deemed a potential flight risk and was remanded into custody, leaving the courthouse in handcuffs. This retrial came after the first trial ended in a mistrial in November 2022, with the jury deadlocked and unable to reach a verdict.
The three women who accused Masterson of rape were all former members of the Church of Scientology, as is Masterson himself. They initially hesitated to report the crimes due to alleged discouragement by church teachings, but eventually left the church.
One of the women claimed that Masterson shoved a pillow into her face during the assault, while Jane Doe 3, who was dating Masterson at the time, stated that he raped her while she was asleep. Jane Doe 2 and Jane Doe 3 are also involved in a related civil case against Masterson and the Church of Scientology.
During the retrial, prosecutors introduced the detail that the women were drugged, which had not been mentioned directly in the first trial. The defense countered by questioning the consistency of the alleged victims’ stories and suggesting collusion among them. The defense also emphasized that Scientology was not a defendant in the case.
Despite the defense’s request for a mistrial, which was denied, Judge Charlaine Olmedo allowed the prosecution to argue that the women were drugged, considering it directly relevant to their ability to perceive the events.
Masterson, who was arrested in 2020, has maintained that each encounter was consensual. Actress Leah Remini, a notable ex-Scientology member who has been actively speaking against the church, was present in the courtroom to support the women throughout the trial.
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