Danny Masterson, the star of 'That 70s Show,' was found guilty of raping two women on Thursday. He was sentenced to 30 years to life in jail, which gave the women some comfort after they told the court how he had hurt them for decades.
After hearing the claims made by the ladies and the pleas for justice made by the defense team, Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo of the Los Angeles Superior Court handed down Masterson's sentence.
The actor, who has been detained since May, sat in court dressed formally. Masterson stood there silently watching the women as they spoke. He insists on being innocent while his attorneys plan to appeal.
The other woman who was raped by Masterson stated he "has not shown a fraction of regret for the pain he caused." "I was aware that he belonged in prison for the protection of all the women he encountered.," she told the judge. "I'm deeply sad and upset."
Prosecutors retried Masterson on all three counts earlier this year after an initial jury failed to reach verdicts on three counts of rape in December, resulting in a mistrial.
Masterson waived his opportunity to speak before being sentenced, and neither he nor the many family members sitting beside him showed any outward reaction to the judge's decision. Earlier in the hearing, his wife, actress Bijou Phillips, was visibly moved.
On May 31, a jury found Masterson guilty of two of three rape counts in his second trial. Both attacks occurred in Masterson's Hollywood-area home in 2003, at the height of his stardom from the Fox network series "That '70s Show."
They were unable to reach a decision on the third accusation, which said that Masterson had raped a longtime lover. The judge rejected the defense's request for a new trial, which was discussed earlier on Thursday, and the actor was condemned as a result. The punishment was the maximum permitted by law. Masterson will be eligible for parole after serving 25 1/2 years, but he could be imprisoned for life.
The defense requested that the terms for the two convictions run concurrently, and requested a penalty of 15 years to life. For Masterson, the prosecution asked for the maximum penalty of 30 years to life in prison.
The charges and sentencing of Masterson, along with Weinstein's conviction last year, was a historic #MeToo era victory for Los Angeles prosecutors, even though the investigation started before a wave of women shook Hollywood with allegations about Harvey Weinstein in October 2017.