Danny Masterson Sentenced to 30 Years to Life in Prison in Los Angeles Rape Case

The embattled actor was found guilty of two counts of forcible rape on May 31 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Danny Masterson has been sentenced to 30 years to life in prison in his Los Angeles rape case. The sentencing comes just over three months after he was found guilty on two counts of forcible rape against two women who were former members of the Church of Scientology. 

After Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo handed the sentencing Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, the victims exited the courthouse hugging and in tears. Actress Leah Remini, who had been roped into the case when when Masterson alleged she was the architect behind the accusations, was also there with the victims as they exited the courtroom together. But before they exited, the judge had pointed words for the disgraced actor.

"Mr. Masterson, you are not the victim here," the judge said. "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."

During the reading of victim impact statements, Masterson remained stoic the entire time. 

L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón praised the victims for their bravery following Masterson's sentencing.

"This has been a long and arduous road for the victims of Mr. Masterson. They not only survived his abuse, they also survived a system that is often not kind to victims," Gascón said. "I applaud their courage for coming forward and participating in this process. My hope is that this sentence will somehow bring them peace and that their bravery will be an example to others. I also want to thank the entire trial team. This was a very difficult case but due to their hard work, experience and commitment, justice was finally served today. One of my top priorities is to ensure that Los Angeles will no longer be a hunting ground for Hollywood elite who feel entitled to prey on women."

Masterson's attorney, Shawn Holley, whose last-minute motion asking for a retrial was denied by the judge, said she planned to appeal the sentencing.

"For the past several months, a team of the top appellate lawyers in the country has been reviewing the transcripts of the trial. They have identified a number of significant evidentiary and constitutional issues which they will address in briefs to both state and federal appellate court," the statement read. "The errors which occurred in this case are substantial and unfortunately, led to verdicts which are not supported by the evidence.And though we have great respect for the jury in this case and for our system of justice overall, sometimes they get it wrong. And that's what happened here. Mr. Masterson did not commit the crimes for which he has been convicted and we and the appellate lawyers -- the best and the brightest in the country -- are confident that these convictions will be overturned."

The disgraced That '70s Show star had been remanded into custody following his May 31 conviction due to the "violent nature of the crimes." After the guilty verdict was read in court, Masterson's wife, actress Bijou Phillips, let out a wail, prompting the judge to tell the actress to keep her composure or leave the courtroom.

The jury -- comprised of seven women and five men -- deliberated for just over a week before finding Masterson guilty.

Mona Shafer Edwards / BACKGRID

The sentencing culminates a case that first made headlines more than six years ago, after reports broke in March 2018 that Masterson was being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department over multiple sexual assault allegations stemming from the early 2000s. Masterson denied the accusations and he then released a lengthy statement claiming, among other things, that the women only came forward with their accusations after they were contacted by Remini, a former member of the Church of Scientology and driver behind the A&E docuseriesLeah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, which aimed to shed light on the church.

But the fallout was swift, as producers of the hit Netflix show, The Ranch, said in late 2018 that Masterson would no longer be part of the production after producers wrote him off the show. The actor's legal problems only increased from there, as he was then named in a lawsuit in August 2019, leveled by four women who accused him of sexual assault.

Masterson was arrested on June 17, 2020 and nearly a year later, in May 2021, the actor was ordered to stand trial on charges that he raped three women at his Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003, after the judge said she "found all three witnesses to be credible and the evidence sufficient to support the charges."


But weeks after the trial finally started in late 2022, the judge declared a mistrial after the jury remained deadlocked. Jurors in last year's case had leaned in favor of acquittal on all three counts against him -- voting 10-2 on one count, 8-4 on another and 7-5 on the third, but were unable to reach a unanimous decision, leading to the mistrial. 

A retrial date was set and Masterson remained free on the $3.3 million bond he first posted way back on June 17, 2020. In the retrial earlier this year, prosecutors sought to paint Masterson as "a monster" whose "play book" included the actor asking his alleged victims, "Would you like a drink?" Prosecutors also alleged Masterson essentially used the Church of Scientology as hunting ground for his next victim.

Following his conviction, Masterson was immediately remanded into custody and, for his safety, was kept away from general population at Los Angeles County Men's Central Jail.