Danny Masterson was sentenced to 30 years in prison for both charges of rape on Thursday, Sep. 7. The actor, 47, was found guilty of two counts of rape in May, according to Variety. The That 70s Show actor was silent as he received his sentencing. He was given 15 years to life on each charge, and he’ll serve the terms consecutively.
Danny’s family, including his wife Bijou Phillips, were in attendance at the hearing. Judge Charlaine Olmedo was stern as she sentenced him. “Mr. Masterson, you are not the victim here. Your actions 20 years ago took away another person’s voice and choice. Your actions 20 years ago were criminal, and that is why you are here,” she said.
The That 70s Show star was found guilty following a trial on May 31. The initial trial had begun in October 2022. The jury voted 8-4 in favor of convicting him. The May verdict came after the jury initially said they could not come to a unanimous decision back on November 18. At the time, they told the judge that they were “unable to reach a unanimous decision on any of the counts,” after three days of deliberation, per Variety. Three rape charges had been brought against the actor, but he was only found guilty of two of them. The third count left the jury in a deadlock. Danny has maintained his innocence throughout the trial.
Following Danny’s conviction, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon released a statement, praising the victims who came forward. “We want to express our gratitude to the three women who came forward and bravely shared their experiences. Their courage and strength have been an inspiration to us all,” he said, per CBS News.
The woman, whose charge left the jury deadlocked, also released a statement, saying she was disappointed that he wasn’t convicted on her charge, but glad he’d face some accountability. “I am experiencing a complex array of emotions – relief, exhaustion, strength, sadness – knowing that my abuser, Danny Masterson, will face accountability for his criminal behavior,” she said. “While I’m encouraged that Danny Masterson will face some criminal punishment, I am devastated that he has dodged criminal accountability for his heinous conduct against me.”
The three women first came forward with the sexual assault allegations against Danny in 2017. Three more women later came forward and claimed that they were assaulted by the actor between 2001 and 2003. They filed their lawsuit as Jane Does.
Besides Danny, the women also filed their lawsuit against the Church of Scientology. The actor is a member of the church and the women are former members. The women said that the Church pressured them not to share the allegations, and harassed them after coming forward. Actress Leah Remini, who is a former member of the Church and now a longtime critic, was seated in the front row on the first day of the trial.
After the trial ended, the King of Queens star tweeted a statement, saying she was relieved for the women. “The women who survived Danny Masterson’s predation are heroes. For years, they and their families have faced vicious attacks and harassment from Scientology and Danny’s well-funded legal team. Nevertheless, they soldiered on, determined to seek justice. While it is up to them to decide whether they are satisfied with this verdict, I am relieved that Danny Masterson is facing some justice after over two decades of brutal sexual violence with no criminal consequences,” Leah tweeted.
In other news – Thami Ngubeni lands her first breakfast TV show
Thami Ngubeni joined eNCA as a co-anchor with Gareth Edwards on “SA Morning” this week. With many years of experience under her belt in the broadcasting space – as an actor, producer and presenter – it is safe to say that she is in her element in front of the camera and behind it.
Some of her acting credits include “Molo Fish”, “Generations”, “Known Gods” and “Jozi-H”. And she’s done some theatre work along the way. Ngubeni is respected for her grace, charisma, and insight, which manifested in the release of “My Sacred Spaces” in 2006. Read More