Danny Masterson convicted of two rape charges in retrial

Actor Danny Masterson, best known for his roles in “That ’70s Show” and “The Ranch,” has been found guilty of two out of three rape charges in a Los Angeles retrial. The jury, consisting of seven women and five men, deliberated for seven days over two weeks before reaching a verdict. Masterson will be held without bail until he is sentenced, which has not yet been scheduled. He could face 30 years to life in prison. Masterson’s wife, Bijou Phillips, wept as he was led away. The Church of Scientology played a central role in the trial, with the prosecution alleging that Masterson used his prominence in the church to avoid consequences for decades. The women testified that when they reported Masterson to church officials, they were told they were not raped, were put through ethics programs themselves, and were warned against going to law enforcement to report a member of such high standing. Masterson did not testify, and his lawyers called no witnesses. The defense argued that the acts were consensual and attempted to discredit the women’s stories by highlighting changes and inconsistencies over time, which they said showed signs of coordination between them. The issue of drugging also played a major role in the retrial. Masterson was not charged with any counts of drugging, and there is no toxicology evidence to back up the assertion. Masterson had reunited with Ashton Kutcher on the 2016 Netflix comedy “The Ranch,” but was written off the show when an LAPD investigation was revealed in December 2017. Masterson’s defense attorney has said that he plans to appeal.


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