The proceeding trial of Danny Masterson, former That ‘70s Show actor and a lifelong Church of Scientology member, reac
The proceeding trial of Danny Masterson, former That ‘70s Show actor and a lifelong Church of Scientology member, reac© Michael Bezjian/Getty Images

The proceeding trial of Danny Masterson, former That ‘70s Show actor and a lifelong Church of Scientology member, reached a guilty verdict. At the Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, May 31, Masterson was convicted on two of three counts of forcible rape. The actor’s conviction could result in him spending 30 years to life in prison. 

Masterson, 47, had previously faced allegations of sexually assaulting three women at his Hollywood Hills home. The jury found him guilty of the incidents that occurred in 2003. However, the jury couldn’t finalize their decision on the third rape charge from 2001 of Masterson’s prior girlfriend, which led to a stalemate. 

After Masterson was convicted as guilty, he was handcuffed and put into custody. Judge Charlaine Olmedo denied the defense plea request for release until the sentencing. Masterson’s wife, actress and model Bijou Phillips, was seen in the front row of the audience, sobbing. 

Variety reported that the hearing will take place on Aug 4, 2023. One of the victims, identified as Jane Doe 2, shared her relief about the ruling, “I am experiencing a complex array of emotions – relief, exhaustion, strength, sadness – knowing that my abuser, Danny Masterson, will face accountability for his criminal behavior.” 

She continued, “I am disappointed that he was not convicted on all counts, but take great solace in the fact that he, the Church of Scientology, and others, will have to fully account for their abhorrent actions in civil court.”

A statement was released from Jane Doe 3, Masterson’s former girlfriend. She was “devastated that he has dodged criminal accountability for his heinous conduct against me.” She and three other women were motivated to receive justice in civil court, where they would “shine a light on how Scientology and other conspirators enabled and sought to cover up Masterson’s monstrous behavior.” 

Masterson has been prominently involved in the Church of Scientology for most of his young and adult life. The Scientologist relied on his decades-long connections with the Church to escape from any impending consequences for his actions. 

The three victimized women were also Scientology members. When they came forward about the assaults, they were told by the Church to not report them to the authorities. Instead, they relied on the organization’s internal justice system. 

In 2017, at the pinnacle of the #MeToo movement, Masterson was under fire for rape allegations. He wasn’t charged or convicted of any crimes. After three years, the Los Angeles Police Department’s ongoing investigation led to the resulting charges against Masterson. 

November of last year was Masterson’s first trial, which resulted in a hung jury. Most of the jurors voted in exonerating the actor on all three charges. Prosecutors hesitated to press charges in two other cases because of a lack of evidence and the statute of limitations expiration. 

The main difference between the first trial and the retrial is that the prosecution ultimately argued Masterson had, indeed, drugged his victims. 

In the most recent trial, prosecutors stressed that the Church of Scientology assisted in covering up the assaults, a claim that the organization vehemently denied. The Church wasn’t pleased with their involvement in the trial, stating that the prosecution’s accusations violated the First Amendment. The organization further declared that it had nothing to do with the case.