What was the evidence against Danny Masterson that got him life in prison? Explained

A still of Danny Masterson (image via IMDb)
A still of Danny Masterson (image via IMDb)

Actor Danny Masterson was a fan favorite with an illustrious career before he was convicted of s*xual assault in 2023. The That 70's Show star has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after being found guilty of r*ping two women, at least two decades ago.

Trigger warning: This article contains mentions of s*xual assault and r*pe. Discretion is advised.

The 47-year-old was sentenced by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo. He was sentenced after one of his victims spoke about the trauma they endured and the anguish brought on by the recollections in the years that followed. While Masterson's lawyer stated that there was no evidence against the actor, the jury based their conviction on the testimonies of the two victims in May 2023.

Danny Masterson, who had been detained since May, was in a suit as he sat in court. According to USA Today, the actor sat silently listening to the women and didn't show any reactions to their testimonies.

Danny Masterson was convicted by a jury in May 2023

The events that led to Danny Masterson's conviction began more than 20 years ago. The actor was publicly accused of the crimes in March 2017 and the r*pes for which he was found guilty occurred in his Los Angeles home in 2003.

Danny Masterson was let go by his agents at United Talent Agency and sacked from the Netflix show The Ranch when the accusations mounted initially in 2017. Later, he was not asked to return for the That '90s Show on Netflix. The latter is a sequel to That '70s Show which featured Masterson as Steve Hyde.

The testimony of three women led to him being jailed after several s*xual assault accusations against him surfaced throughout the years. Three women said he had s*xually assaulted them at his Hollywood home between 2001 and 2003 and this was what led to his conviction. He reportedly gave them drugs before assaulting them, according to testimony presented to the jury.

Danny Masterson was accused of r*pe for the first time in 2017 at the height of the #MeToo movement. He refuted the charges and insisted that all of the interactions were consensual.

After a three-year investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department, charges were filed. Due to insufficient evidence and the passing of the statute of limitations, prosecutors decided not to press charges in two other cases. They claimed throughout the trial that the Church of Scientology had assisted in covering up the assaults, a claim that the group has vehemently refuted.

All three of Masterson's accusers were Scientologists at the time of the assaults. Many of the women claimed it took them years to come forward because Church of Scientology leaders allegedly told them not to call the police about the s*xual assault.

Upon his imprisonment judgment, one of the victims had the following to say

“You are pathetic, disturbed and completely violent. The world is better off with you in prison.”

The actor hid behind his height of fame during the time of the assaults. He reportedly even went on to commit the crime even more times as per many others who spoke up against him. A jury of seven women and five men found him guilty of two counts after seven days of deliberations.

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Edited by Madhur Dave