Danny Masterson has been found guilty of sexual assault in a retrial.
According to court documents obtained by Variety, the 47-year-old actor was arrested in 2020 for assaulting three women between 2001 and 2003 in his Hollywood Hills home.
Masterson’s initial trial for the sexual assault charges ended on 30 November 2022, with the jury deadlocked on all counts after extended deliberations. The trial also restarted after two jurors contracted COVID-19.
In his subsequent retrial – which wrapped on 12 May and saw a verdict delivered on Wednesday – Masterson was found guilty of two counts of forcible rape. The jury was deadlocked on a third rape charge and did not reach a verdict.
All three women were members of the Church of Scientology at the same time as Masterson. During the trial, prosecutors accused church officials of protecting the actor for years after he drugged and sexually assaulted the women.
Masterson had pleaded not guilty and his lawyer said the acts were all consensual.
Actor and Scientology whistleblower Leah Remini has labelled the guilty verdict a “relief”.
“The women who survived Danny Masterson’s predation are heroes,” The King of Queens star posted on Twitter. “For years, they and their families have faced vicious attacks and harassment from Scientology and Danny’s well-funded legal team. Nevertheless, they soldiered on, determined to seek justice.”
Remini continued, “While it is up to them to decide whether they are satisfied with this verdict, I am relieved that Danny Masterson is facing some justice after over two decades of brutal sexual violence with no criminal consequences.”
Masterson could face up to 30 years in jail.
The actor played Steven Hyde on all eight seasons of That ’70s Show – which also starred Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis – from 1998 to 2006.
– Cover Media