US TV star Danny Masterson has been discovered responsible of two counts of rape.
The actor, 47, confronted accusations by three ladies that he raped them at his residence in Hollywood Hills between 2001 and 2003.
At the time, Masterson was on the peak of his fame – starring alongside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis within the hit US sitcom That ’70s Show.
Two of the girl, who knew Masterson by the Church of Scientology, claimed the actor drugged them earlier than the intercourse assaults.
A 3rd girl, a former girlfriend of Masterson, and in addition a part of the Church of Scientology, alleged that she was raped by the TV star through the course of their relationship.
The actor denied the allegations, claiming the intercourse was consensual.
Lawyers for Masterson – who was not charged with any drugging offences – additionally instructed the jury that there was no toxicology proof to again up the spiking claims.
On Wednesday, at a courtroom in Los Angeles, the actor was discovered responsible of two counts of rape by a jury, on a majority verdict of 8-4.
The jury couldn’t attain a verdict within the third depend, regarding the allegations made by Masterson’s former girlfriend.
Masterson, who was led away from the courtroom in handcuffs after the verdicts, might face 30 years to life in jail.
His spouse, actor and mannequin Bijou Phillips, wept as he was led away.
The verdicts come after Masterson confronted a retrial over the allegations. The earlier trial led to December with the jury unable to achieve a verdict.
The trial heard that Masterson met all three of his victims by the Church of Scientology.
Prosecutors within the case alleged that Masterson raped the ladies after which used his prominence within the church to keep away from penalties for many years.
The ladies testified that after they reported Masterson to church officers, they have been instructed they weren’t raped, have been put by ethics applications, and warned in opposition to going to regulation enforcement to report a member of such excessive standing.
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“They were raped, they were punished for it, and they were retaliated against,” deputy district legal professional Reinhold Mueller instructed jurors in his closing argument.
“Scientology told them there’s no justice for them. You have the opportunity to show them there is justice.”
Judge Charlaine Olmedo allowed skilled proof on church coverage from a former official in Scientology who has since turn out to be a distinguished opponent.
The church strongly denied having any coverage that forbids members from going to secular authorities.
Masterson didn’t give proof through the trial, and his attorneys referred to as no witnesses.
His attorneys argued that the acts have been consensual and tried to discredit the ladies’s allegations by highlighting adjustments and inconsistencies of their accounts over time.
A spokesperson for Masterson declined remark to the Associated Press (AP) following the decision, however the information company reported that his attorneys are prone to enchantment in opposition to the convictions.