Danny Masterson starred on That '70s Show. He's now been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

This story includes descriptions of sexual assault that may be distressing to some readers.

That '70s Show star Danny Masterson has been sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for raping two women in his Hollywood home two decades ago.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo handed down the sentence on Thursday local time, after hearing statements from both women about the trauma and the suffering caused by his actions in the decades since.

The 47-year-old actor, who has been in custody since May, sat in court wearing a suit and watched the women without visible reaction as they spoke.

"When you raped me, you stole from me," said one woman who Masterson was convicted of raping in 2003. 

"That's what rape is, a theft of the spirit. You are pathetic, disturbed and completely violent. The world is better off with you in prison."

The other woman Masterson was found guilty of raping said he "has not shown an ounce of remorse for the pain he caused".

She told the judge, "I knew he belonged behind bars for the safety of all the women he came into contact with. I am so sorry, and I'm so upset. I wish I'd reported him sooner to the police."

After an initial jury failed to reach verdicts on three counts of rape in December and a mistrial was declared, prosecutors retried Masterson on all three counts earlier this year.

Following the second trial, a jury of seven women and five men found Masterson guilty of two counts after seven days of deliberations. Both attacks took place in Masterson's Hollywood-area home in 2003, when he was at the height of his fame on That '70s Show.

Image: Fox/Getty.


Masterson waived his right to speak before he was sentenced and had no visible reaction after the judge's decision, nor did the many family members sitting beside him. Those in the court stated his wife, actress Bijou Phillips, was tearful earlier in the hearing.

They could not reach a verdict on the third count, an allegation that Masterson also raped a longtime girlfriend.

In the courtroom, she said Masterson's actions sentenced her to "viewing my body as a crime scene my entire life".

The judge sentenced the actor to the maximum allowed by law. It means Masterson will be eligible for parole after serving 25 1/2 years, but can be held in prison for life.

"Mr Masterson, I know that you're sitting here steadfast in your claims of innocence, and thus no doubt feeling victimised by a justice system that has failed you," Judge Olmedo told him.


"But Mr Masterson, you are not the victim here. Your actions 20 years ago took away another person's voice, and choice. One way or another you will have to come to terms with your prior actions, and their consequences."

Prosecutors alleged that Masterson used his prominence in the Church of Scientology — where all three women were also members at the time — to avoid consequences for decades after the attacks.

Masterson's team had argued before trial that the women were colluding to form a "sisterhood" that "seems to want to take down Mr Masterson and take down Scientology", a claim that Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller quashed.

The church said in a statement after the verdict that the "testimony and descriptions of Scientology beliefs" during the trial were "uniformly false".

Shawn Holley, one of Masterson's lawyers, said in a statement about the sentence that the legal battle is not over and said he was "confident that these convictions will be overturned".

Masterson starred with Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Topher Grace in That '70s Show from 1998 until 2006.

He had reunited with Kutcher on the 2016 Netflix comedy The Ranch, but was written off the show when a Los Angeles Police Department investigation was revealed the following year.

If this has raised any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.

- With AAP.

Feature image: Getty.