American actor: Danny Masterson found guilty of rape

DAmerican actor Danny Masterson has been found guilty of rape. After more than six days of deliberations, the twelve jurors returned their verdict on Wednesday in Los Angeles. Prosecutors said they found Masterson guilty of raping two women in 2003. In the third case of allegations of rape by another woman, the jury failed to reach a unanimous opinion.

The verdict is expected to be announced in early August. According to the prosecutor’s office, Masterson faces from 30 years to life in prison. He was taken out of the courtroom in handcuffs.

Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon thanked the three plaintiffs for their “courage and strength” in sharing their experiences in court. It is essential to prevent sexual abuse.

This was the second case against the actor. The previous criminal trial ended in November with no results. At the time, jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict in any of the three cases. The responsible judge then declared a so-called mistrial (“mistrial”). The prosecutor’s office reopened the case.

Masterson pleaded not guilty

Masterson was released on bail in the millions pending a guilty verdict on Wednesday. The actor has always denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty. All sexual acts were consensual, the actor claimed.

The police investigation began in 2017. Among the plaintiffs was the ex-girlfriend of the actor. The women described similar circumstances, that Masterson drugged them and then raped them in his home. The trial also involved a controversial Scientology organization calling itself a church. Masterson is a prominent member, at times the plaintiffs were also part of the organization, as reported by the Hollywood Reporter film portal.

Masterson has been married to actress Bijou Phillips since 2011. The couple has a daughter. The 47-year-old actor became famous thanks to the comedy series That ’70s Show, in which from 1998 to 2006 he played Stephen Hyde, who always wore sunglasses.

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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