On September 7, Danny Masterson was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison after being found guilty of raping two women at his home in 2003. While he maintained his innocence throughout the duration of the three-year trial and subsequent retrial, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the victims.
In the days since his sentencing, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller has spoken out against Masterson, who describes the That 70’s Show actor’s actions as ‘opportunistic’ and ‘predatory’ in nature. “It’s been a long time coming for them to get their justice,” Mueller tells PEOPLE.
Danny Masterson was originally arrested in 2020 and charged with three counts of forcible rape. His first trial began in October 2022, but ended in a mistrial and a new trial. A second trial began in April 2023 and found the 47-year-old guilty of two of the counts – the jury was deadlocked 8-4 on the third count of rape.
Masterson has been held in L.A. County Men’s Central Jail since being found guilty earlier this year, but will soon be transferred to the Wasco State Prison‑Reception Center – where he will begin his 30-year to life sentence. As of now, he’ll be eligible for parole after 25 ½ years – he’ll be in his 70s at that point.
Reinhold Mueller believes the sentence is ‘absolutely the right decision’ by the judge and argues that Masterson was ‘consistent in the manner in which he forcibly raped each of his victims.’ He alluded to the accusation that Masterson drugged the victims before raping them inside his home in Hollywood Hills.
“He surreptitiously drugged the victims using an alcoholic beverage as the vehicle for administration, and then forcibly raped them as they became incapacitated. This afforded him the opportunity to obtain control and dominance over his victims as he carried out his forcible assaults,” Reinhold Mueller told PEOPLE.
It’s important to note that Masterson wasn’t charged with anything related to drugging and there were no toxicology reports to prove he drugged his victims before raping them. Nonetheless, Mueller says their ‘suspicion’ was that he used GHB to control his victims – again, there’s no evidence to support that.
Mueller Commends Victims for Their Bravery Against Danny Masterson
While Reinhold Mueller says Danny Masterson was under the impression that he was going to get away with his crimes, the victims were committed to making sure that didn’t happen. This was evident in their victim impact statements, which were read on September 7 just moments before he was sentenced.
“When you raped me, you stole from me. You relish in hurting women. It is your addiction,” one victim wrote in a statement. “You steal women’s radiance. You treated us like we were less than trash beneath you, but deep down you coveted precisely those beautiful things in us that you could not find in yourself.”
She went on to describe Masterson as ‘pathetic, disturbed, and extremely violent,’ and claimed that the world is a better and safer place with him in prison for the next three decades. Mueller commended the women for coming forward – adding that there are a lot of reasons why people might decide not to.
“These victims overcame that. And ultimately, despite the length of time and what issues there may have been in this case, the jury saw through that, made the right decision, came together, and found justice for these victims,” Mueller said. Meanwhile, Danny Masterson and his lawyers hope to overturn the convictions.
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