Actor Danny Masterson has been found guilty of two counts of rape by a jury at Los Angeles Superior Court, on Wednesday. The court found him guilty of raping two women in 2003. Masterson was sent to jail and could get 30 years to life in prison. His next hearing will happen on August 4.
While the court convicted him for two counts of rape, they could not reach a verdict for a third count of rape on Masterson. Jury comprising 12 members reached the verdict after deliberating for seven days.
“We want to express our gratitude to the three women who came forward and bravely shared their experiences. Their courage and strength have been an inspiration to us all,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement on Wednesday.
“While we are disappointed that the jury did not convict on all counts, we respect their decision. The verdicts handed down by the jury in this case were undoubtedly a difficult one to reach and we thank the jurors for their service,” added Gascon.
Masterson’s wife, Bijou Phillips was seen crying when the actor was taken into custody.
“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,” said one of the women, whom Masterson was convicted of raping.
Prosecutors had alleged Masterson forcibly raped three women in his Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003. They alleged “That ’70s Show” actor drugged the women’s drinks before he raped them.
Meanwhile, Masterson’s lawyers told the court that the acts were consensual. They highlighted that the women complainants’ statements had inconsistencies over time.
After the verdict, Los Angeles County District Attorney Gascón said: “We also recognize that preventing sexual assault is critical and we will continue to educate the public on the importance of consent, healthy relationships and bystander intervention. We believe that by working together, we can create a safer and more just society for all.” (Courtesy: HT)