Actor Danny Masterson, recognized for starring in the series That '70s Show, was found guilty of two counts of rape this Wednesday at a trial held in Los Angeles that could carry a 30-year prison sentence.
Masterson, who walked out of court in handcuffs and was taken into custody to the tears of his relatives, was accused of raping three women between the ages of 24 and 29 inside his Hollywood home after having met them as members of the Church of Scientology from 2001 to 2003.
However, the jury only found him guilty of raping two of them and could not reach a verdict on the third lawsuit against him, specifically the one relating to 2001 and involving an old girlfriend of the interpreter.
"I am experiencing complex emotions: relief, fatigue, strength and sadness knowing that my attacker will have to account for his criminal conduct," said one of the victims in a statement sent to the US press.
For her part, Judge Charlaine Olmedo, of the Los Angeles Superior Court, denied the request of the interpreter's defense, which asked that he remain free until sentencing, and set a hearing of the case for next August 4.
The actor's legal defense, represented by attorney Philip Cohen, argued that the prosecution used the Church of Scientology as a way to distract attention from "inconsistencies" in the victims' testimony.
Masterson's first trial ended in a deadlock in November, but in the new trial, the prosecution reversed course and argued that the That '70s Show star had drugged the women.
Cohen refuted that there is no evidence to confirm this and that no toxicological test was carried out to corroborate the accusation.
In 2021, the Los Angeles Superior Court decided to initiate proceedings against Masterson upon finding "sufficient evidence" after hearing the testimony of the three women.
The victims' account has been based on the fact that their faith in Scientology dissuaded them for years from considering the attacks as "rape" and two of them even claimed that they were threatened with excommunication if they reported the case.
Masterson's version defends that the relations between the actor and the three women were consensual, and described the process as revenge against the cult practiced by the artist, since they later left the Church of Scientology.
This case came to the fore seven months before the scandal over Harvey Weinstein and the movement
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