boxed actor Danny Masterson He did not get the outcome he had hoped for in the sexual assault retrial. On Wednesday, Masterson was found guilty on two counts of forcible rape, though the jury deadlocked on a third count of rape, reports Variety. He is now seeking a 30-year sentence to life in prison for both charges. The retrial follows an initial trial that ended in a hung jury in November.
Masterson, best known for his role as Stephen Hyde on the sitcom That ’70s Show, is accused of the rape of three women, the alleged incidents of which occurred between 2001 and 2003. He was convicted of two incidents that occurred in 2003 while the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the 2001 claim. The prosecution also took a different strategy with the retrial, alleging that Masterson drugged The three women as part of the assaults. All of the women involved were involved with the Church of Scientology at the time of the incidents, and the prosecution stated that Masterson took advantage of this to get away from assaults as long as he did.
“They were all drugged,” Attorney General Ariel Anson was quoted as saying at the trial. He added, “The defendant drugs his victims to gain control. He does it to take away those victims’ ability to consent. This is not about consent. This is not about the defendant misunderstanding the victim’s signals. When he drugs them, he is able to control them completely physically. Don’t you want sex?” You don’t have a choice… The defendant makes that choice for these victims and he does it over and over and over again.”
Danny Masterson faces a serious prison sentence
Meanwhile, Masterson’s attorney, Philip Cohen, has suggested that the reference to Scientology should serve as a distraction from what he says are inconsistencies in the testimony of the women in this situation. The lawyer also asked, “Why have we heard so much about Scientology? Could there be problems otherwise in the case of the government?”
In response to allegations that Masterson drugged women, Cohen said there was no evidence to support this.
“This is not an anesthesia issue,” Aturini said. “There is no concrete evidence of that.”
In his client’s defense, Cohen also said that the stories of the victims in this case were “modified” once the three women met and were able to discuss their case together. There is also something strange about making these claims after so long, the lawyer insinuates.
“A woman has the absolute right to say no,” Cohen says. “But when ‘no’ comes after 16 or 17 years…it’s a very, very scary scenario.”
From the outset, Masterson has vehemently denied all allegations against him. Following the jury’s verdict in November, Masterson was seen walking alongside his wife, Bijou Phillips, with big smiles on their faces, outside the courtroom. This time, there was reportedly an audible voice heard from the actor’s family when the guilty verdict was announced.