Actor Danny Masterson has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the rape of two women.
The women, who were also members of the Church of Scientology, accused Masterson of using his prominence in the church to avoid consequences for his actions. They blamed the church for discouraging them from going to the authorities earlier and protecting its high-ranking members.
Masterson’s defense argued that the acts were consensual, but the jury found him guilty of two counts of rape. The attacks occurred at Masterson’s Hollywood home in 2003 when he was at the height of his fame. The women claimed that Masterson provided them with drinks that made them woozy or pass out before assaulting them. Masterson did not testify at his own trial, and his lawyers called no witnesses.
The judge denied the defense’s request for a new trial. The women expressed relief at the sentencing, hoping that Masterson’s imprisonment would ensure the safety of other women.