At the end of May of this year, Danny Masterson was finally convicted of two out of three rape charges. This was the second trial, after the first one ended in mistrial last year. Masterson’s predatory and disturbing behavior dates back years, but he was only outed as a serial rapist during the Me Too movement, when his victims began telling their stories to the LAPD. Masterson’s conviction is one of the few times a high-profile predator – and a Scientologist to boot – has been convicted in a court of law. Anyway, Masterson was sentenced this week. I was shocked by the number of years.
That ’70s Show” star Danny Masterson was sentenced Thursday to 30 years to life in prison for raping two women more than two decades ago at his Hollywood Hills home. Masterson, 47, displayed no visible emotion after Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo threw the book at him.
“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,” Olmedo said just before dispatching Masterson to prison. “But Mr. Masterson, you are not the victim here.”
Masterson’s wife, Bijou Phillips, a model and actress who was a constant presence at her husband’s trials, quickly donned a pair of sunglasses after Olmedo announced the sentence and left the Los Angeles courtroom without a word.
Masterson was hit with the staggering sentence four months after he was convicted on two of the three rape counts he faced at his retrial in Los Angeles. He had been charged with raping three women — identified at trial as Jane Doe #1, Jane Doe #2 and Jane Doe #3 — between 2001 to 2003. A once popular sitcom star, Masterson did not take the stand at either of his trials and has, via his lawyers, repeatedly denied sexually assaulting the women. Nor did Masterson make any statement at his sentencing. Instead, the actor sat silently as the two women he was convicted of raping, and a former girlfriend he was acquitted of sexually assaulting, took turns urging the judge to hit him with a harsh punishment.
“When you raped me, you stole from me,” Jane Doe #2 told the court. “That’s what rape is, a theft of the spirit. You are pathetic, disturbed and completely violent. The world is better off with you in prison.”
Jane Doe #1 said Masterson “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.”
Jane Doe #3 said Masterson’s actions sentenced her to “viewing my body as a crime scene my entire life.”
I’m so glad that all three women were allowed to speak at sentencing, even though he was only technically convicted of raping two of the Jane Does. I’m glad they were heard and that their stories weighed on the judge and jury. I’m glad that the judge didn’t play the “well, he seems like a fine, upstanding man, let’s let him go with a slap on the wrist” thing.
Meanwhile, I wonder if his wife Bijou Phillips will still be ride-or-die for him after 30 years in prison. When he was convicted in May, her side told People Mag that she had no plans to leave him and she was by his side until the bitter end. Welcome to the bitter end.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.