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Actor Danny Masterson sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for rape

Actor Danny Masterson leaves Los Angeles superior Court with his wife Bijou Phillips after a judge declared a mistrial in his rape case in 2022.
Brian Melley
/
AP
Actor Danny Masterson leaves Los Angeles superior Court with his wife Bijou Phillips after a judge declared a mistrial in his rape case in 2022.

A judge has sentenced "That '70s Show'' actor Danny Masterson to 30 years to life in prison for raping two women.

"This has been a long and arduous road for the victims of Mr. Masterson," read a statement from District Attorney George Gascón. "They not only survived his abuse, they also survived a system that is often not kind to victims."

NPR has reached out to Masterson's lawyer for a statement.

Masterson, a member of the Church of Scientology, was a star on the hit sitcom "That '70s Show," which ran from 1998 to 2006. He was first accused of sexual misconduct in 2017, which kicked off an investigation by the LAPD. In June 2020, he was charged with raping three women, including his former girlfriend, in his Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003. The three women had all met Masterson through the Church of Scientology.

"You are pathetic, disturbed and completely violent," one of the women said to Masterson in court this morning, according toThe Associated Press.

A deadlocked jury led to a mistrial last year. Prosecutors retried Masterson in May, informing jurors that he drugged the women's drinks, and that the church tried to silence the women. The jury found him guilty of two counts of rape, but were unable to reach a verdict in the allegation that he raped his longtime girlfriend.

Masterson's last role was on the Netflix sitcom "The Ranch" along with fellow "That '70s Show" alum Ashton Kutcher. But he was written off the show in 2017, following the allegations.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Andrew Limbong is a reporter for NPR's Arts Desk, where he does pieces on anything remotely related to arts or culture, from streamers looking for mental health on Twitch to Britney Spears' fight over her conservatorship. He's also covered the near collapse of the live music industry during the coronavirus pandemic. He's the host of NPR's Book of the Day podcast and a frequent host on Life Kit.