US actor Danny Masterson (“The Roaring Seventies”) was sentenced to 30 years in prison by Judge Charlaine Olmedo in Los Angeles for rape. A jury found the 47-year-old guilty in May of raping two women in 2003. In a third case, however, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict.
A former girlfriend of the actor was also among the plaintiffs. The women described similar circumstances, saying Masterson drugged them in his home and then raped them.
A first trial against Masterson last November was unsuccessful because the jury at the time could not agree on a unanimous verdict in any of the three cases. The prosecution then reopened the case.
What role did Scientology play?
Masterson had always denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty. All sexual acts were consensual, the actor asserted during the trial. His lawyers did not call any witnesses. In 2017, when the allegations against Masterson became public, the streaming service Netflix had ended its appearance in the series “The Ranch”.
The controversial Scientology organization was also addressed in the proceedings. Masterson is a prominent member, and at times the plaintiffs were also members of the organization. During the trial, the women said they were discouraged by Scientology from contacting the police.
rb/wa (AP, dpa Reuters)