Danny Masterson of ‘That ‘70s Show’
“That ‘70s Show” actor Danny Masterson was convicted this week of two counts of forcible rape for sexually assaulting two women in his Hollywood Hills home roughly 20 years ago.
The actor was originally charged with raping three women between 2001 and 2003, but jurors said they were deadlocked on the third rape charge against him. That charge involved a former longtime girlfriend of the actor.
On May 25, the downtown L.A. panel re-heard portions of testimony from the former girlfriend. The seven-woman, five-man jury had previously asked to re-watch portions of a videotaped interview and to look at transcripts from that interview between the same woman and two Los Angeles Police Department detectives in January 2017.
The jury began deliberating May 17, and deliberated for a total of about seven days before reaching its verdict Wednesday. Masterson, who had been free on bail, was taken into custody after the verdicts were read. He displayed no emotion as the verdicts were read. His wife, actress Bijou Phillips, audibly cried in the audience, prompting the judge to ask her to maintain her composure.
A motions hearing in the case was set for Aug. 4, but no sentencing date was immediately scheduled.
He faces a possible sentence of 30 years to life in prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
“While we are disappointed that the jury did not convict on all counts, we respect their decision,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement. “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.”
The jury was the second to hear the case against Masterson, 47, who was charged in 2020 with three counts of rape by force or fear involving the three women on separate occasions.
During last year’s trial, jurors leaned in favor of acquittal on all three counts–voting 10-2 on one count, 8-4 on another and 7-5 on the third–but they were unable to reach a unanimous decision, leading to the mistrial on Nov. 30.
Prosecutors confirmed in January that they wanted to retry the actor, and Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo rejected a defense effort to have the charges dismissed.