‘You are pathetic, disturbed and completely violent’: Danny Masterson unmoved by sentencing victim statements

Actor jailed for 30 years by Los Angeles judge for the rape of two women at his home in 2003

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Thursday 07 September 2023 21:26 BST
Danny Masterson to Be Sentenced Thursday

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Actor Danny Masterson remained unmoved as his two rape victims gave powerful impact statements to a judge before the That ‘70s Show star was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the attacks.

“When you raped me, you stole from me,” said one woman who Masterson, 47, was convicted of raping in 2003. “That’s what rape is, a theft of the spirit.”

“You are pathetic, disturbed and completely violent,” she added. “The world is better off with you in prison.”

The other victim told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo that the actor “has not shown an ounce of remorse for the pain he caused.”

“I knew he belonged behind bars for the safety of all the women he came into contact with. I am so sorry, and I’m so upset. I wish I’d reported him sooner to the police,” she told the court.

Masterson, who has been in custody since May, showed no visible reaction to the statements from the two former members of the Church of Scientology as he sat in court, reported The Associated Press.

He was found guilty by a jury of two counts of rape on 31 May after seven days of deliberations. The court was told that both attacks took place at Masterson’s home in the Hollywood area of the city in 2003 when he was a member of the cast of the hit Fox sitcom.

Danny Masterson leaves Los Angeles superior Court with his wife Bijou Phillips in November, 2022.
Danny Masterson leaves Los Angeles superior Court with his wife Bijou Phillips in November, 2022. (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Masterson did not testify, and his defence team called no witnesses, arguing that the acts were consensual.

The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on a third count, an allegation that Masterson had raped a longtime girlfriend.

A mistrial was declared in Masterson’s first trial in December 2022 after a jury failed to reach verdicts on three counts of forcible rape.

“Mr Masterson, I know that you’re sitting here steadfast in your claims of innocence, and thus no doubt feeling victimized by a justice system that has failed you,” Judge Olmedo told him before handing down the sentence.

“But Mr Masterson, you are not the victim here. Your actions 20 years ago took away another person’s voice, and choice. One way or another you will have to come to terms with your prior actions, and their consequences.”

Earlier the judge had rejected the defence team’s request for a new trial. Masterson’s lawyers had asked for both sentences to run simultaneously and for the judge to give their client 15 years to life.

“It’s his life that will be impacted by what you decide today,” Masterson’s lawyer Shawn Holley told the judge before she sentenced him. “And the life of his nine-year-old daughter, who means the world to him, and to whom he means the world.”

“He has lived an exemplary life, he has been an extraordinary father, husband, brother, son, co-worker and community servant.”

Masterson starred with Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Topher Grace in That ’70s Show from 1998 until 2006.

In 2016 he reunited with Kutcher for the Netflix comedy The Ranch but was written off the show when the LAPD opened a probe into the allegations made against him.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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