What Did Danny Masterson Do? ‘That ’70s Show’ Actor To Face 30 Yrs In Prison Due To Sexual Assault Charges

Danny Masterson gained recognition due to his role in the hit sitcom That ’70s Show as Steven Hyde. However, the actor’s career took a dark turn when he was accused of raping three women in 2003. Masterson has become a hot topic of discussion since his conviction was announced on September 7, 2023. The 47-year-old disgraced actor has been sentenced to serve 30 years in prison by a US court.

What Did Danny Masterson Do?

In 2017, Danny Masterson created a stir when he was accused of supposed sexual assault. After being charged with supposedly raping three females in June of 2020, he pled not guilty. In March of 2017, four women declared that the star of That ’70s Show had sexually attacked them during the early 2000s. A fifth woman stepped forward in December of that year, asserting that during the time they were seeing each other, he “repeatedly raped” her.

While denying all the allegations, Danny Masterson stated,

“From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me. Law enforcement investigated these claims more than 15 years ago and determined them to be without merit.”

He continued to plead his innocence,

“I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, in the current climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused.”

Out of the five people who made the allegations, three were members of the Church of Scientology, which Masterson has been affiliated with since he was a young boy. The other two accusers, Chrissie Carnell Bixler and Bobette Riales had prior romantic relationships with the actor.

As the Los Angeles Police Department investigated Danny Masterson’s criminal case, four of the individuals accusing him of sexual assault filed a lawsuit in civil court. The plaintiffs alleged that, in addition to Masterson, the Church of Scientology and its leader David Miscavige had harassed them, invaded their privacy, and conspired to prevent justice from being served since they had come forward with their allegations against Masterson.

Masterson was accused of three counts of rape, though the other two women’s complaints lacked the necessary proof, and the time for pressing charges had passed. The Los Angeles County District Attorney, Jackie Lacey, declared the news after Masterson was apprehended in June 2020. If found guilty, the Yes Man actor might be sentenced to a maximum of 45 years or even life in prison.

In May of 2021, a judge mandated that Masterson be tried in court on the accusations of rape pressed against him. During the preliminary hearing, three women testified and the judge concluded that prosecutors had enough proof for the case to proceed to a trial.

The Trial & Conviction of Danny Masterson

The trial began in October 2022 with the opening statements. The defense attempted to prohibit any reference to Scientology from the pre-trial hearing, yet this motion was declined. The jury was unable to reach a consensus concerning the three accusations Danny Masterson was facing in November 2022.

This prompted the judge to call it a mistrial. The case was set for another trial in April 2023. After the judge rejected the defense’s petition to dismiss the case in January 2023, April 17 was designated as the date for the selection of the jury for the second trial.

In May 2023, it became known that Danny Masterson had been convicted of sexually assaulting two women in 2003, with the jury not coming to a conclusion for the claim in November 2001 made by his ex-girlfriend. The next court hearing was scheduled for August 4, 2023, with a potential prison sentence of 30 years to life should he be found guilty of both accusations.

On the 7th of September, Masterson was handed down a 30-year-to-life prison term, following his conviction on two counts of rape by force in his retrial for sexual assault.

“Mr. Masterson, you are not the victim here. Your actions 20 years ago took away another person’s choice and voice. Your actions 20 years ago today were criminal, and that’s why you are here.”

After the trial, Shawn Holley, Masterson’s attorney, declared their intention to take the case to both state and federal appeals courts, beyond the jurisdiction of criminal courts.