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Leah Remini relieved 'dangerous rapist' Danny Masterson sentenced to prison, slams Scientology as 'multibillion-dollar criminal organization'
Jesse Grant/Getty Images for International Documentary Association/Mike Coppola/Getty Images for CMT

Leah Remini relieved 'dangerous rapist' Danny Masterson sentenced to prison, slams Scientology as 'multibillion-dollar criminal organization'

Leah Remini – actress and outspoken critic of Scientology – is relieved that "dangerous rapist" Danny Masterson has been sentenced to prison.

Masterson was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison on Thursday. During a retrial in May, the former "That '70s Show" actor was found guilty of two counts of forcible rape in sexual assaults that allegedly occurred between 2001 and 2003. A third rape charge was deadlocked by a hung jury after eight days of deliberations.

Before sentencing, Judge Charlaine Olmedo told Masterson, "You were not convicted based on rumors, innuendo, gossip, and speculation. You were convicted based on evidence that 12 people in the community found to be credible. … You were convicted because each of the victims reported the rapes to someone shortly after the rapes occurred."

Legal Affairs journalist Meghann Cuniff reported, "Olmedo also mentioned that Masterson paid one of his victims nearly $1 million to sign a non-disclosure agreement, which she said 'is an awful lot to pay' for an incident you claim never happened."

Following the sentencing, Masterson's legal team said they plan to appeal due to "substantial" errors.

"We are very disappointed in the sentence the judge handed down today. However, for the past several months, a team of the top appellate lawyers in the country has been reviewing transcripts of the trial. They have identified a number of significant evidentiary and constitutional issues which they will address in briefs to both the state and federal courts," Shawn Holley, Masterson's attorney, told reporters.

Masterson, 47, was convicted of raping two women – both former members of the Church of Scientology.

One victim told the courtroom, "I didn’t choose to be born into Scientology and their rules, just like I didn’t choose to be raped by Danny Masterson."

"Prosecutors had said Scientology officials protected the actor for years after he drugged and sexually assaulted the women, who were also Scientologists but have since left the church, in three separate incidents between 2001 and 2003," according to HuffPost.

Vanity Fair reported that Masterson has been a Scientologist all his life and that his mother, Hollywood talent agent Carol Masterson, has been a member of the church for many years.

Remini was at the sentencing along with "women who survived Danny Masterson's predation."

The actress said of Masterson, "I am relieved that this dangerous rapist will be off the streets and unable to violently assault and rape women with the help of Scientology, a multibillion-dollar criminal organization with tax-exempt status."

"For over two decades, Danny Masterson avoided accountability for his crimes," Remini said in a statement. "While Danny was the only one sentenced, his conviction and sentence are indictments against Scientology, its operatives, and its criminal leader, David Miscavige."

The star of "The King of Queens" continued, "Scientology managed to cover up Danny's crimes with the help of its intelligence agency, the Office of Special Affairs, top 'church' officials like Kirsten Caetano Pedersen and Julian Swartz, its network of media-hungry unethical attorneys, private investigators, agents, and civilian Scientologists who engaged in a conspiracy to cover up crimes of sexual violence."

Remini said of the victims, "These women not only faced the living hell of being raped, having their rapes covered up by the very organization that promised to protect them, but they have also faced ruthless and criminal harassment by Scientology and its agents since they came forward to law enforcement."

Remini was a young child when she was brought into Scientology after her mother converted. The 53-year-old actress left the L. Ron Hubbard-created organization in 2013.

In 2016, she produced and co-created the documentary series "Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath." The docuseries won three Emmy awards.

In August, Remini sued the Church of Scientology and its leader, David Miscavige, for stalking, defamation, and using "mob-style operations and attacks" to harass her and other ex-members of the organization.

The Church of Scientology called Remini’s lawsuit "ludicrous" and "pure lunacy."

Masterson appeared on "That '70s Show" until 2006. In 2016, he was starring in the Netflix comedy "The Ranch" with Ashton Kutcher. However, he was written off the show in December 2017 after multiple allegations of rape.

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