Actor Danny Masterson was handed a 30-year to life prison sentence on Thursday after being found guilty of two counts of rape earlier this year in a Los Angeles courtroom, as confirmed by Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. Masterson received the maximum “aggregate” punishment for these offenses.
The star of “That ’70s Show,” aged 47, was convicted in late May on two out of three rape charges and was taken into custody following the verdict. The jury could not reach a consensus on the third count.
After initially pleading not guilty to raping three women at his residence in separate incidents between 2001 and 2003, Masterson’s sentencing on Thursday resulted from the second trial in the case, which began on April 24 and was handed over to the jury on May 17.
Masterson was represented by defense attorneys Shawn Holley and Philip Cohen, while Deputy District Attorneys Ariel Anson and Reinhold Mueller prosecuted the case.
Holley expressed disappointment with the judge’s sentence and announced plans to appeal Masterson’s rape convictions, stating, “We are very disappointed in the sentence the judge handed down today. Mr. Masterson did not commit the crimes for which he was convicted, and we, along with the appellate lawyers who are among the most skilled in the country, are confident that these convictions will be overturned.”
The initial trial began in October 2022, and a mistrial was declared the following month due to a deadlocked jury, according to the District Attorney’s statement to CNN at that time.
Alison Anderson, representing two of the three accusers, commended her clients’ strength and bravery for coming forward and participating in two challenging criminal trials. Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón expressed hope that this sentence would bring peace to the victims and serve as an example to others, emphasizing his commitment to preventing Hollywood elites from preying on women in Los Angeles.
Danny Masterson is most recognized for his role as Steven Hyde in “That ’70s Show,” which aired on Fox from 1998 to 2006. He also starred alongside Ashton Kutcher in Netflix’s “The Ranch” from 2016, but was removed from the show by Netflix and the producers amid the rape allegations. Masterson expressed disappointment with this decision in a statement to CNN at the time.
The allegations against Masterson first came to light in March 2017 when journalist Tony Ortega reported on his site “The Underground Bunker” that the Los Angeles Police Department was investigating Masterson.