North Shore native Danny Masterson begins 30-year prison sentence

North Shore native Danny Masterson begins 30-year prison sentence
"That '70s Show" actor Danny Masterson has been sent to a California state prison to serve his sentence for two rape convictions. (Photo courtesy of the California Department of Corrections)

Former East Williston resident Danny Masterson, who achieved fame as a television star, has started his 30-year prison sentence at a California state prison after being convicted of two rape charges.

Masterson, 47, who was raised in Garden City and East Williston, was found guilty of the rape charges in May this year. He was tried for a third rape charge as well, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

The former “That 70s Show” star was sentenced to three decades in prison at a September court hearing. He will be eligible for parole in about 25 years.

Masterson’s lawyer said they plan to appeal the conviction, according to the AP.

The actor was booked into North Kern State Prison Wednesday. In his mugshot, Masterson can be seen wearing orange prison attire with long hair and a beard.

According to court reports, three separate women, identified at trial as Jane Doe #1, Jane Doe #2 and Jane Doe #3, accused Masterson of assaulting them in 2001 and 2003 in his Hollywood Hills home in California.

Masterson’s first trial ended in November 2022 with a mistrial. His second trial began earlier this year, which resulted in the actor being found guilty of raping Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2, but not Jane Doe #3.

He did not testify during the trial and his lawyers did not call any witnesses.

Masterson’s trial was reported to be influenced by the Church of Scientology, of which the actor is a member of.

The three women who accused Masterson are former Scientologists, according to the Associated Press.

The church said in a statement after Masterson’s conviction – which did not mention the actor by name – that the introduction of religion into the trial by the prosecution was “an unprecedented violation of the First Amendment.”

“The Church was not a party to this case and religion did not belong in this proceeding as Supreme Court precedent has maintained for centuries,” the statement said.

While the church itself was not named as a defendant in the case, the testimony was allowed by Masterson’s accusers saying church officials pressured the women into not reporting the rapes, according to multiple reports.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón thanked the women who came forward in a post-sentencing statement.

“My hope is that this sentence will somehow bring them peace and that their bravery will be an example to others,” Gascón said according to NBC News. “One of my top priorities is to ensure that Los Angeles will no longer be a hunting ground for Hollywood elite who feel entitled to prey on women.”

Alison Anderson, the lawyer for two accusers, said the women “displayed tremendous strength and bravery” according to The New York Times.

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