Actor Danny Masterson, 47, was found guilty of rape in a retrial of a case involving three women on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Masterson, best known for his role as Steven Hyde on the sitcom “That ‘70s Show,” was convicted on two out of three counts of rape by a Los Angeles jury.
After a week of deliberation, the jury reached a guilty verdict regarding sexual assault victims Jen B. and N. Trout. The third count, which involved allegations against Masterson by his former girlfriend, Christina Bixler, was declared a mistrial.
Masterson pleaded not guilty to all three counts.
The first trial occurred in November but ended in a mistrial when the jury was unable to reach a verdict.
According to the women, the assaults occurred at Masterson’s Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003.
The actor was accused of drugging the women before sexually assaulting them. All the women claimed they became nauseous after ingesting drinks Masterson had given them.
Jen B. told the jury that she became ill after drinking a beverage Masterson gave her at his home in April 2003. She alleged that the actor brandished a gun from his nightstand and raped her.
The woman stated that she filed a police report in 2004 but that Masterson was never taken into custody. She reported the actor to authorities again in 2016.
N. Trout testified that Masterson assaulted her at his home after an evening of drinking with friends.
Masterson’s former girlfriend, Bixler, accused him of being emotionally and sexually abusive.
The three women previously belonged to the Church of Scientology, which they claimed pressured them not to report Masterson, who is a prominent member.
Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Ariel Anson accused the church of silencing the alleged victims.
In a statement to TheBlaze, the Church of Scientology said in part, "The District Attorney unconscionably centered his prosecution on the defendant's religion and fabrications about the Church to introduce prejudice and inflame bigotry. The DA elicited testimony and descriptions of Scientology beliefs and practices which were uniformly FALSE."
The church claimed that it has no policy preventing or discouraging its members from reporting criminal activity to authorities.
"Quite the opposite, Church policy explicitly demands Scientologists abide by all laws of the land. All allegations to the contrary are totally FALSE," it added.
Additionally, the church denied allegations that it harassed the alleged victims, noting that there is "not a scintilla of evidence supporting the scandalous allegations."
While the assaults allegedly occurred in the early 2000s, Masterson was not charged until 2020.
Following the verdict, N. Trout said in a statement, “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.”
“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,” she added.
Masterson’s former girlfriend said she was “devastated” that the actor was not convicted on all counts.
“I am devastated that he has dodged criminal accountability for his heinous conduct against me,” she said. “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.”
Masterson’s attorney, Philip Cohen, denied claims that the actor drugged the women and noted that he was not facing any charges for those allegations. Cohen also pointed out inconsistencies between the women's testimony and their statements to authorities.
Following the guilty verdicts, Masterson was immediately remanded into custody. He faces up to 30 years to life in prison. The sentencing hearing is set for August 4.
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