Danny Masterson guilty on two rape charges

That 70s Show actor found guilty of raping two women between 2001 and 2003.

US actor Danny Masterson (That 70s Show, The Ranch) has been found guilty of raping two women between 2001 and 2003.

Masterson, 47, now faces up to 30 years in prison.

In 2022, a jury was unable to reach a verdict in the case against the actor involving rape allegations by three women, and Los Angeles Judge Charlaine Olmedo declared a mistrial.

But the retrial jury of seven women and five men reached a guilty verdict on two of three charges.

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

During the retrial prosecutors said Masterson forcibly raped three women in his Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003. They claimed he drugged the women’s drinks in order to assault them, then relied on his status as a prominent member in the Church of Scientology to avoid consequences for decades.

Masterson, is a Scientology member and all three women are former members.

During the defence’s closing, attorney Philip Cohen told jurors the women’s accounts were so full of inconsistencies, there was more than enough reasonable doubt for jurors to acquit him. Prosecutors said the institution protected him, and helped convince the women that they were not raped, and could not go to authorities to report a fellow Scientologist in good standing.

The church has denied having any such policy, saying, “The Church has no policy prohibiting or discouraging members from reporting criminal conduct of anyone—Scientologists or not—to law enforcement. Quite the opposite, Church policy explicitly demands Scientologists abide by all laws of the land. All allegations to the contrary are totally false.”

Masterson was not charged with any counts of drugging, and there is no toxicology evidence to back up the assertion. His lawyer asked for a mistrial over the issue’s inclusion. The motion was denied, but the issue is likely to be a major factor in any potential appeal.

Masterson played the roles of Steven Hyde in That ’70s Show, Milo Foster in Men at Work and Jameson “Rooster” Bennett in The Ranch.

Source: ABC, Nine News

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