A jury found Danny Masterson guilty and convicted for two out of three counts of rape in a Los Angeles retrial on Wednesday after prosecutors said he drugged and raped four women, who were then members of the Church of Scientology.
The jury which comprised of seven women and five men reached the verdict after deliberating for seven days spread over two weeks, since May 17.
However, they could not reach a verdict on the third count against Jane Doe 3 and declared it a mistrial. The 3rd count alleged that Danny Masterson raped a longtime girlfriend.
Masterson was taken out of the courtroom in handcuffs after he was deemed a potential flight risk and remanded into custody following the verdict.
The 47-year-old actor pleaded not guilty to three counts of felony rape following accusations by three different women, including a former girlfriend.
Danny Masterson’s sentence hearing was scheduled on August 4 where he might face up to 30 years to life in prison.
The first trial ended in a mistrial in November 2022, with the jury deadlocked and unable to reach a verdict.
Prosecutors in the second trial said he forcibly raped the three women in his Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003. They told jurors he drugged the women’s drinks so he could rape them and used his prominence in the church — where all three women were also members at the time — to avoid consequences.
The three alleged rape victims were members of the Church of Scientology, as is Masterson. All three women who have now left the church said they initially did not report to law enforcement because their church teachings discouraged reporting to the police.
The Church of Scientology denied their allegations via a statement to ABC News saying “no policy prohibiting or discouraging members from reporting criminal conduct of Scientologists, or of anyone, to law enforcement. … Church policy explicitly demands Scientologists abide by all laws of the land.”
Jane Doe 3, who was dating Masterson at the time, claimed he raped her in 2001 while she was asleep, while another gave a brutal depiction of the event when she said he covered her face with a pillow while raping her.
“I thank the jury for its service”, Jane Doe 3 said, before adding that she was “devasted” by the outcome of her own case.
I thank the jury for its service, and while I’m encouraged that Danny Masterson will face some criminal punishment, I am devastated that he has dodged criminal accountability for his heinous conduct against me,” Jane Doe 3 said in a statement provided through her attorneys, Boies Schiller Flexner. “
Despite my disappointment in this outcome, I remain determined to secure justice, including in civil court, where I, along with my co-plaintiffs, will shine a light on how Scientology and other conspirators enabled and sought to cover up Masterson’s monstrous behavior.”
Jane Doe 2 also shared Jane Doe 3’s emotion saying she was disappointed was not found guilty on all three counts of rape.
“I am experiencing a complex array of emotions — relief, exhaustion, strength, sadness — knowing that my abuser, Danny Masterson, will face accountability for his criminal behavior,” Jane Doe 2 said in a statement.
“I am disappointed that he was not convicted on all counts, but take great solace in the fact that he, the Church of Scientology and others will have to fully account for their abhorrent actions in civil court.”
In opening statements of the new trial which started late in April, prosecutors said the evidence will show that the women were also drugged — a detail not mentioned directly during the first trial but which the judge allowed in the retrial. They also introduced a fourth woman who claimed Masterson drugged and raped her in 2000.
Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller told the jury that the women were “absolutely wrecked” after having a small amount to drink, and that was because they were drugged.
“What happened after they were drugged? They were raped by this man over here, they were raped,” Mueller said as he pointed at Masterson.
Danny Masterson’s defense countered the allegations and alleged that the victims’ stories were inconsistent and the women might have colluded over time. They also added that Scientology is “not a defendant” in the case.
Defense attorney Philip Cohen told the jury the women may have “tweaked or maneuvered” their stories to strengthen their case, and that they may be motivated by “hatred, revenge or money.
The defense also asked for a mistrial — saying that prosecutors took too much of their closing arguments on the alleged drugging of the victims.
However, Judge Charlaine Olmedo denied the request, citing her ruling that prosecutors could argue the women were drugged because it was “directly relevant to their ability to perceive the events of the charged incidents.”
Danny Masterson, the star of “That ’70s Show” holds that his sexual relations with all three women were consensual.