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    Actor Danny Masterson sentenced to 30 years in prison for rape


    Sep 8, 2023

    LOS ANGELES — Actor Danny Masterson was sentenced on Thursday to 30 years to life in prison after he was convicted on two counts of rape earlier this year in a Los Angeles courtroom, according to Deputy D.A. Reinhold Mueller of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

    Masterson received the maximum “aggregate” penalty for the crimes, Mueller said.

    The “That ’70s Show” star, 47, was found guilty in late May on two of three counts of rape, and was taken into custody following the verdict. The jury was deadlocked on the third count.

    Following his initial arrest in 2020, Masterson had pleaded not guilty to raping three women at his home in separate incidents between 2001 and 2003.

    The sentence on Thursday stems from the second trial in the case, which began on April 24 and went to the jury on May 17. Masterson was represented by defense lawyers Shawn Holley and Philip Cohen. Deputy D.A. Ariel Anson and Deputy D.A. Mueller prosecuted the case.

    Holley told reporters outside of the courthouse Thursday that they plan to appeal his rape convictions.

    “We are very disappointed in the sentence the judge handed down today,” said Holley, reading from a statement. “Mr. Masterson did not commit the crimes for which he was convicted and we and the appellate lawyers who are the best and the brightest in the country are confident that these convictions will be overturned.”

    The first trial began in October 2022, and a mistrial was declared the following month after the jury remained deadlocked, the District Attorney told CNN at the time.

    Alison Anderson, the attorney representing two of the three accusers, told CNN in a statement on Thursday following the sentencing that her clients “have displayed tremendous strength and bravery, by coming forward to law enforcement and participating directly in two grueling criminal trials.”

    “I applaud their courage for coming forward and participating in this process. My hope is that this sentence will somehow bring them peace and that their bravery will be an example to others,” Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement to CNN. “One of my top priorities is to ensure that Los Angeles will no longer be a hunting ground for Hollywood elite who feel entitled to prey on women.”

    Masterson is best known for his role as Steven Hyde on “That ’70s Show,” which aired for eight seasons on Fox from 1998 to 2006, and co-starred Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Laura Prepon, Topher Grace and Wilmer Valderrama.

    Kutcher and Masterson also starred in Netflix’s “The Ranch” beginning in 2016, but Netflix and the producers wrote Masterson off the show amid the rape allegations. At the time, Masterson said he was “obviously very disappointed” by the decision in a statement to CNN.

    News of the allegations date back to March 2017, when journalist and former Village Voice editor Tony Ortega wrote on his site “The Underground Bunker” that Masterson was being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department. — CNN

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