A judge sentenced That ’70s Show show star Danny Masterson to 30 years to life in prison for raping two women, giving them some relief after they spoke in court about the decades of damage he inflicted.
“When you raped me, you stole from me,” said one woman who Masterson was convicted of raping in 2003. “That’s what rape is, a theft of the spirit.” “You are pathetic, disturbed and completely violent,” she said. “The world is better off with you in prison.” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine F Olmedo handed down the sentence on Thursday to the 47-year-old Masterson after hearing statements from the women, and pleas for fairness from defense attorneys.
The actor, who has been in custody since May, sat in court wearing a suit. Masterson watched the women without visible reaction as they spoke. He maintains his innocence and his attorneys plan to appeal.
The other woman Masterson was found guilty of raping said he “has not shown an ounce of remorse for the pain he caused.” She told the judge, “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.” After an initial jury failed to reach verdicts on three counts of rape in December and a mistrial was declared, prosecutors retried Masterson on all three counts earlier this year.
Masterson waived his right to speak before he was sentenced and had no visible reaction after the judge’s decision, nor did the many family members sitting beside him. His wife, actor Bijou Phillips, was tearful earlier in the hearing.
At his second trial, a jury found Masterson guilty of two of three rape counts on May 31. Both attacks took place in Masterson’s Hollywood-area home in 2003, when he was at the height of his fame on the Fox network sitcom That ’70s Show. They could not reach a verdict on the third count, an allegation that Masterson also raped a longtime girlfriend.
“Masterson starred with Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Topher Grace in That ’70s Show from 1998 until 2006. He had reunited with Kutcher on the 2016 Netflix comedy The Ranch but was written off the show when the Los Angeles Police Department investigation was revealed the following year.