In a landmark verdict, actor Danny Masterson has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after being found guilty of two counts of forcible rape. The jury deliberated for eight days before reaching a unanimous decision on these charges, although they were unable to reach a verdict on a third charge. Masterson’s maximum sentence was 30 years, and it has been deemed a significant victory for the survivors of these heinous crimes.
The Impact Statements
Before issuing the sentence, the judge heard impact statements from both victims. One of the survivors, who was raped by Masterson in 2003, bravely stated, “When you raped me, you stole from me. That’s what rape is, a theft of the spirit.” She further described Masterson as “pathetic, disturbed, and completely violent,” asserting that the world is better off with him in prison. The other survivor, who was also raped by Masterson, expressed her disappointment at his lack of remorse and shared her regret for not reporting him sooner to the police.
The Role of Scientology
Throughout the trial, it was revealed that Masterson had allegedly used his affiliation with the Church of Scientology to evade consequences for his actions. The prosecution argued that Masterson drugged the women’s drinks, making it easier for him to carry out the assaults. In a statement provided by their attorneys, the survivors expressed their determination to hold not only Masterson accountable but also the Church of Scientology and its enablers for their efforts to suppress their voices.
The Church of Scientology’s Response
The Church of Scientology, in response to Masterson’s guilty verdict, claimed that the use of religion in the trial violated their first amendment rights. They vehemently denied any policy discouraging members from reporting criminal conduct and refuted allegations of harassment. The church stated that every instance of supposed harassment had been debunked and that there was no evidence supporting the accusations against them.
Masterson’s Second Trial and the Guilty Verdict
This trial marked the second time Masterson faced charges related to these sexual assaults in less than six months. The first trial ended in a mistrial, leading to a retrial where Masterson was ultimately found guilty. The charges against him stemmed from incidents that occurred between 2001 and 2003 at his Hollywood Hills home. Masterson’s legal team argued that the encounters were consensual and attempted to discredit the survivors’ accounts by highlighting changes and inconsistencies over time.
The Emotional Toll on the Survivors
The survivors of Masterson’s assaults have endured significant emotional pain throughout this process. They expressed a mix of relief, exhaustion, strength, and sadness upon hearing the verdict. One survivor emphasized the importance of holding Masterson accountable for his criminal behavior, while another expressed her disappointment in the outcome but remained determined to seek justice in civil court. They vowed to shed light on how Scientology and other conspirators enabled and attempted to cover up Masterson’s monstrous actions.
Masterson’s Sentencing and Reactions
Masterson received the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for the two counts of forcible rape. As the judge delivered the sentence, Masterson listened without any visible reaction. His wife, Bijou Phillips, gasped at the guilty verdict and wept as he was led away. Masterson had been free on a $3.3 million bond since his arrest in June 2020 and had maintained his innocence throughout the trial.
Looking Ahead: Civil Court and Seeking Justice
Although the survivors are disappointed that Masterson has not faced criminal accountability for all of his heinous acts, they remain determined to seek justice in civil court. They, along with their co-plaintiffs, plan to expose the role of Scientology and other conspirators in enabling and covering up Masterson’s behavior. Their commitment to shedding light on these issues reflects their unwavering resilience and determination to hold all responsible parties accountable.