American actor Danny Masterson has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for raping two women. Masterson says he is innocent. His lawyer plans to appeal. The 47-year-old actor is best known for his role as Steve Hyde in the TV series That ’70s Show.
The sexual abuse took place about 20 years ago. The two victims stated that they were drugged and raped by Masterson in his home. That happened between 2001 and 2003, when the popular TV series was in full swing.
Masterson had also been accused of abuse by a third woman. But the jury remained divided on this charge.
The actor has not made any statement in the trial against him. Masterson also remained silent at the verdict today in Los Angeles. His wife and relatives were present at the hearing. The actor has previously said that the women had sex with him voluntarily.
Both Masterson and the three women have been members of the Church of Scientology. The victims have stated that they only now came forward with their story because the church had urged them not to go to the police. Prosecutors say Masterson used his influence within Scientology to avoid prosecution.
In 2017, the actor was openly accused of abuse for the first time. In the wake of these allegations, Masterson was fired from the Netflix series The Ranch. The case is seen as part of the #MeToo movement.
- That ’70s Show actor Danny Masterson found guilty of rape
- Actor from That ’70s Show has to stand trial for raping three women