Where Is Danny Masterson Now? Actor Danny Masterson, best known for his role on the sitcom “That ‘70s Show”, has faced serious legal troubles in recent years over sexual assault allegations. In 2022 and 2023, he stood trial twice on three counts of rape in the early 2000s. After a deadlocked jury the first time, his retrial ended in convictions on two counts. Masterson was recently sentenced to a lengthy prison term for his crimes. This article will examine Masterson’s trials, conviction, and where the actor is now as he faces life behind bars.
Initial Rape Allegations Emerge Against Masterson
In 2017, news broke that Masterson was under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department for sexually assaulting three women in the early 2000s .
The three women, identified in court as Jane Does 1-3, each came forward that year to accuse Masterson of raping them at his Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003 . This was during the height of his fame starring as Steven Hyde on FOX’s hit sitcom “That ‘70s Show” from 1998-2006 .
Coming forward to law enforcement was difficult for the women, who were all Scientologists at the time of the alleged assaults. Masterson is also a lifelong member of the Church of Scientology .
The accusers said when they previously reported Masterson to the Church, they were pressured not to go to police and were told they could be declared “suppressive persons” for making accusations against the prominent Scientologist .
But in 2017, emboldened by the growing #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, the women decided to go to LAPD despite resistance from the Church . Their police reports launched the investigation into Masterson.
Masterson Fired From Netflix Show Amid Scandal
As rape allegations mounted in 2017, Netflix fired Masterson from his co-starring role on the streaming sitcom “The Ranch” alongside Ashton Kutcher .
Masterson called the firing “disappointing”, but said he looked forward to “clearing my name once and for all” .
The actor had reunited with his former “That ‘70s Show” co-star Kutcher for “The Ranch” starting in 2016. He appeared as the mischievous Rooster Bennett for 20 episodes before being written off the show due to the scandal .
Netflix’s decision came after an LAPD investigation was opened based on the accusers’ reports. The streaming platform said at the time “Yesterday was his last day on the show, and production will resume in early 2018 without him” .
Masterson Indicted on Rape Charges
In June 2020, after a three-year investigation, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office announced that Masterson had been charged with forcibly raping three women in separate incidents between 2001 and 2003 .
He was arrested that month and released on a $3.3 million bail bond .
The complaint alleged that Masterson raped a 23-year-old woman between January and December 2001. He was also accused of raping a 28-year-old woman in April 2003, and a 23-year-old woman he invited to his home some time between October and December 2003 .
Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller said if convicted, Masterson could face up to 45 years in prison .
Masterson maintained his innocence, with his attorney releasing a statement saying “Mr. Masterson is innocent, and we’re confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify” .
But the long-anticipated charges meant Masterson was finally facing trial for acts alleged to have happened at the height of his TV fame.
First Masterson Trial Ends With No Verdict
Masterson’s highly anticipated first trial on three counts of forcible rape began in October 2022 in Los Angeles .
The proceedings gave the three Jane Doe accusers a chance to testify in graphic detail about encounters with Masterson that allegedly turned violent and forced .
Jane Doe #1 said she felt disoriented after Masterson gave her a drink then threw her in his shower and raped her .
Jane Doe #2 testified that Masterson became aggressive and wouldn’t let her leave his home before violently raping her .
Jane Doe #3 said Masterson raped her while she slipped in and out of consciousness from a drink he provided during a date .
After two days of deadlocked deliberation, the jury reported they could not reach a unanimous verdict on any of the rape charges . Judge Charlaine Olmedo declared a mistrial in November 2022 .
The lack of resolution left both sides frustrated. While prosecutors expressed a desire to retry the case with a new jury, Masterson’s lawyer said the lack of conviction after a month-long trial showed the case was weak .
But the long process was set to continue.
Masterson Retried and Convicted on Two Rape Counts
Despite the mistrial, the Los Angeles County DA’s office announced plans to retry Danny Masterson on the three rape charges, deciding the jury deadlock was grounds for a new trial .
The second trial began in October 2022. This time, explicit testimony from the Jane Does took center stage again .
Prosecutors also took a more aggressive stance that Masterson had drugged the women before the alleged assaults without their consent – a charge the State ultimately did not file against the actor .
After two days of deliberation in late October, the new jury found Masterson guilty of forcibly raping two of the Jane Does in 2003 .
He was convicted of raping a 28-year-old woman in April 2003 and a 23-year-old woman in late 2003 at his home . But the jury remained deadlocked on charges involving the third Jane Doe from 2001 .
Upon hearing the verdict, Masterson had no visible reaction while the two victims emotionally consoled each other .
Masterson’s conviction marked a stunning downfall for the prominent Scientologist and former sitcom star. It also provided a measure of vindication for his victims who said the Church of Scientology tried to silence them.
Masterson Plans Appeal After Rape Conviction
Following his conviction in the retrial, Danny Masterson continued asserting his innocence and his plan to appeal the jury’s verdict .
In a statement, Masterson’s attorney Philip Cohen said he was disappointed by the partial convictions and planned to file an appeal .
Cohen argued the prosecution relied on “contradictory, changing stories” from Jane Does 1 and 2 that reflected bias against his client . He said Masterson should have never been charged based on “unreliable” information .
Legal experts said Masterson may challenge the conviction based on insufficient evidence or question if allowing testimony that he drugged victims unfairly prejudiced the jury .
But the verdicts still marked a milestone after years of allegations dogging the actor. While freed on bail pending sentencing, Masterson was already facing the prospect of years in state prison .
Deputy DA Mueller said that while he hoped for a full conviction, getting accountability for two victims of an alleged serial rapist was an important step .
Meanwhile, the two women who won their case against Masterson thanked prosecutors and said they could now begin healing .
Masterson Sentenced to Lengthy Prison Term
On September 8th, 2023, Danny Masterson appeared in a Los Angeles courtroom to receive his sentence after being convicted on two rape charges stemming from 2003 .
Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo sentenced Masterson to 30 years to life in state prison, rejecting his pleas for a lighter sentence .
In emotional statements, the two victims Masterson was convicted of raping described the pain and suffering he caused that forever altered their lives .
Jane Doe 1 called Masterson a “true coward and heartless monster” . Jane Doe 2 said Masterson’s crimes left her with “a life’s worth of therapy” . Both said the world is safer with him imprisoned.
The prison term represents a stark downfall for the actor who is now a convicted rapist serving an effective life sentence.
Where Masterson Stands Now Behind Bars
Today in late 2023, Danny Masterson sits in a Los Angeles County jail awaiting transfer to a state prison to serve out his lengthy sentence .
While his lawyer pursues an appeal, Masterson remains convicted on two felony counts of forcibly raping women at his home .
The former sitcom star has gone from an accused serial rapist, to defendant in two dramatic trials, to now convicted inmate stripped of his freedom and facing life imprisonment .
Sources close to Masterson say he continues professing innocence and feeling persecuted based on his status as a Scientologist . But the judge made clear he bears sole responsibility for the trauma inflicted on victims.
Until the appeals process concludes, Masterson remains in custodyremoved from Hollywood fame and sentenced to decades in prison for grievous crimes. The verdict provided long-awaited justice for the survivors who resolutely pursued charges against a powerful star backed by a controversial church.
Wherever Masterson serves his sentence, the guilty convictions mean he faces spending the rest of his life locked away as a convicted rapist.