US actor Danny Masterson convicted to 30 years to life in prison in rape case

US actor Danny Masterson, who rose to fame with 'That ’70s Show' sitcom, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for raping two women, media reports said.

Actor Danny Masterson sentenced to serve 30 years in prison in rape case. Photo Courtesy: Danny Masterson Instagram page

Prosecutors argued Masterson, 47, had relied on his status as a prominent Scientologist to avoid accountability, reports BBC.

During the hearing, Judge Charlaine Olmedo allowed the victims of the crime to read impact statements in the court.

Masterson was found guilty in late May on two of three counts of rape, and was taken into custody following the verdict. The jury was deadlocked on the third count, according to CNN.

After his initial arrest in 2020, the actor had pleaded not guilty to physically violating three women at his residence in separate incidents between 2001 and 2003.

The sentence on Thursday stems from the second trial in the case, which began on April 24 and went to the jury on May 17, the American news channel reported.

Defence lawyers Shawn Holley and Philip Cohen represented Danny Masterson in the case.

Outside the court, Holley was quoted as saying to reporters by CNN that they plan to appeal his rape convictions.

“We are very disappointed in the sentence the judge handed down today,” said Holley, reading from a statement.

“Mr. Masterson did not commit the crimes for which he was convicted and we and the appellate lawyers who are the best and the brightest in the country are confident that these convictions will be overturned," Holley said.

The actor played Steven Hyde in That '70s Show' (1998–2006), Milo Foster in 'Men at Work' (2012–2014) and Jameson "Rooster" Bennett in 'The Ranch' (2016–2018).