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Why and for how long has That ‘70s Show’s Danny Masterson been handed prison sentence?

Masterson, best known for playing Hyde in the hugely popular television series was handed the sentence in Los Angeles.

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Danny Masterson, actor de That '70s Show, condenado a 30 años de prisión
John ShearerGetty Images

Danny Masterson, best known in the entertainment world for portraying the iconic character Steven Hyde in the comedy series ‘That ‘70s Show,’ has been sentenced to between 30 years in prison and life imprisonment in Los Angeles, California.

Masterton guilty of rape

The sentence was handed down on Thursday 7 September, after the television star had being found guilty four months previous on two out of three rape charges. The first rape trial took place in November 2022 and ended in a mistrial, with the jury leaning toward acquittal.

However, in a second trial held in June, a jury at the Los Angeles Superior Court determined that Masterson, aged 47, had raped two women more than two decades ago at his residence in Hollywood Hills. Masterson had been accused of sexually abusing three women, identified simply as Jane Doe #1, Jane Doe #2, and Jane Doe #3, between 2001 and 2003, but the trial concluded with the actor being found guilty of raping only Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2, but not Jane Doe #3.

Did the Church of Scientology cover up Masterson assaults?

According to the testimonies of the victims and prosecutors, Masterson sexually assaulted the three women he met within the Church of Scientology. Although these were separate incidents, all three women argued that the Church pressured them not to report the rapes to the authorities.

The Church, to which the actor still belongs, denied these claims and stated that the organization “has no policy that prohibits or discourages members from reporting criminal conduct by anyone, whether a Scientologist or not, to the authorities.”

For his part, Masterson has repeatedly denied sexually assaulting the women, maintaining his innocence on all charges. However, the jury reached a different conclusion, delivering their official verdict last June. At that time, The Ranch actor was handcuffed and removed from the courtroom, while his wife, Bijou Phillips, was seen in tears.