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That '70s Show star Danny Masterson found guilty on two rape counts
1 June 2023, 07:20
American actor Danny Masterson has been found guilty on two out of three counts of rape.
Masterson, who is most known for his role in hit US comedy That '70s Show, faces up to 30 years in prison.
Three women, all of which were members of the Church of Scientology, accused Masterson of sexual assault between 2001 and 2003.
The Los Angeles jury was unable to reach a verdict on a third count of rape following a week of deliberations.
One of Masterson's victims, who was raped in 2003, said in a victim statement: "I am experiencing a complex array of emotions - relief, exhaustion, strength, sadness - knowing that my abuser, Danny Masterson, will face accountability for his criminal behavior."
It follows an earlier trial in December 2022, which was unable to reach a verdict.
During this retrial, prosecutors were allowed to present new evidence that was not allowed in the first trial.
The actor was first accused of rape in 2017, to which he responded that he had not been convicted of a crime.
He said at the time, when the #MeToo movement was underway, that "it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused".
Meanwhile, Deputy District Attorney Ariel Anson told jurors in the triak: "The Church taught his victims, 'Rape isn't rape, you caused this, and above all, you are never allowed to go to law enforcement.'"
Masterson was led from the court in handcuffs. His lawyers are likely to appeal the decision.