The jury in the rape trial rendered a verdict, finding the actor of a popular comedy series, ”That 70’s Show”, Danny Masterson, to be guilty of two counts of forcible rape. According to reports, the jury was deadlocked on a third rape charge, arriving at 8-4 in favor of conviction.
Masterson is facing a potential sentence of 30 years to life for conviction on those two charges, stemming from accusations that he raped three women at his Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003.
This case has offered insight into the Church of Scientology and its practices. Masterson and all the three accusors were Scientologists at the time of the assault were alleged to have taken place, but have left the church since then.
The accusors said that the organization discouraged them from contacting law enforcement after getting victimized because of Masterson’s celebrity status. This is the reason the case drew attention.
“Like all predators, the defendant carefully sought out his prey,” prosecutor Ariel Anson said in his closing statement. “The church taught his victims that rape isn’t rape, that you cause this and above all, you aren’t allowed to go to law enforcement. What better hunting ground? In Scientology, the defendant is a celebrity and he is untouchable.”
While the Church association rejected the claim mentioning, The Church has no policy prohibiting or discouraging members from reporting criminal conduct by anyone, Scientologists or not, to law enforcement.”
According to reports, Masterson’s family members were fighting back tears when the verdict was said. While the actor’s wife, Bijou Phillips broke into tears.
Danny Masterson and his wife, Bijou Phillips have stuck together in both good and bad times. The couple initially met in 2004 at a celebrity poker tournament in Las Vegas.
“After Vegas, and talking to her a few times, I was shocked by how unbelievably intelligent she was,” the Men at Work alum explained in an interview. “She knew every book I had ever read. I was like, this girl is amazing.”
After many years of dating the couple married in a romantic Irish ceremony. The couple — who share a daughter, Fianna, born in 2014 — have also weathered challenges. In March 2017, Masterson was accused of sexual assault in the early 2000s by multiple women. As a result, he was written off from The Ranch, his Netflix comedy with That ‘70s Show costar Ashton Kutcher.
“From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me. Law enforcement investigated these claims more than 15 years ago and determined them to be without merit,” Masterson said in a December 2017 statement, denying the claims.
According to sources, Bijou has always been a total rock. She fully supports his husband, Danny Masterson. She hopes that they will come out of this nightmare together and come out stronger.