Danny Masterson Sentenced to 30 Years to Life in Prison After Being Found Guilty of Raping Two Women in 2003

Danny Masterson – who most of us remember as Steven Hyde on That 70’s Show – has learned his fate. The 47-year-old was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison after being found guilty of two counts of rape in May 2023. It’s the maximum sentence allowed and he’ll be eligible for parole after 25 ½ years.

“Mr. Masterson, I know that you’re sitting here steadfast in your claims of innocence, and thus, no doubt feeling victimized by a justice system that has failed you,” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo said before reading his sentence. She stressed that he’s not the victim here – the women are.

“But Mr. Masterson, you are not the victim here. Your actions 20 years ago took away another person’s voice, and choice. One way or another you will have to come to terms with your prior actions, and their consequences,” Olmedo continued. Masterson was reportedly void of emotion during the sentencing.

For those who need a refresher, Danny Masterson was initially arrested in June 2020 and subsequently charged with three counts of forcible rape. He was accused of raping a 23-year-old former girlfriend in 2001 and two other women (a 28-year-old and 23-year-old) in 2003 at his home at the height of his fame.

His first trial began on October 11, 2022 – after originally being scheduled for August 29 – and both sides rested their case a month later. Unfortunately for the accusers, the jury was deadlocked after several weeks of deliberations and the judge declared a mistrial. A new trial began on April 24, 2023 and came to an end on May 17, 2023.

Two weeks of jury deliberations followed and they ultimately found him guilty on the two counts of rape from 2003, but failed to agree on the third count – the jury was deadlocked 8-4 in favor of conviction, but they had to come to a unanimous decision in order for him to be found guilty. They, obviously, couldn’t.

The two guilty counts of rape had him facing a maximum of 30 years to life in prison – which is ultimately what he received on Thursday (September 7). The two accusers described the physical and emotional trauma they received as a result of his violent behavior and wished they had spoken to the police sooner.

Defense Was Seeking 15 Years to Life for Danny Masterson

While the prosecutors were adamant about Danny Masterson receiving the full 30 years to life in prison, the defense was seeking half of that – they requested the convictions run simultaneously to one another, which would’ve amounted to 15 years to life in prison. The judge chose to side with the prosecution.

“It’s his life that will be impacted by what you decide today. And the life of his 9-year-old daughter, who means the world to him, and to whom he means the world,” Masterson’s attorney, Shawn Holley, said to the judge – adding he has ‘lived an exemplary life’ and has lived up to his duties as a father and husband.

Throughout the trial, his attorneys argued that the sexual acts he committed in 2003 were consensual and made light of the changes and inconsistencies in the accusers’ stories as the trial went on. They saw it as a sign of coordination between the two as they sought to destroy his reputation, integrity, and image.

While the two women accused him of drugging them before committing the acts, Danny Masterson wasn’t charged with anything related to drugging, and toxicology evidence was non-existent. It’s something to keep an eye on as Masterson and his legal team consider an appeal to the conviction and sentence.

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