Actor Danny Masterson convicted of rape in Los Angeles trial

The 47-year-old actor was imprisoned after the hearing, pending his sentence to be determined by a judge on August 4. He faces up to 30 years in prison.

American actor Danny Masterson, prominent member of the Church of Scientology known for his role in the series That ’70s Show, was convicted of raping two women by a Los Angeles jury on Wednesday. Three women, also Scientologists, accused him of raping them at his Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003.

The jurors agreed with two of them and did not reach the unanimity necessary to pronounce a verdict on the third.

During the trial, prosecutors found that the actor “drugged and raped each of these victims” and called for “holding him accountable”.

He faces up to 30 years in prison.

This case, triggered in 2017 in the wake of accusations against ex-producer Harvey Weinstein which caused the explosion of the #MeToo movement, also raised questions about the role of the Church of Scientology.

Two of the complainants notably assured that the organization, very well established in Los Angeles, had dissuaded them from contacting the police.

Danny Masterson’s defense insisted that the plaintiffs’ story has evolved over the years, and suggested that bias against Scientology may have motivated the lawsuit.

At a previous trial in November, a different jury had refused to rule, unable to reach unanimity.