American actor, Danny Masterson, well known for his role as Steven Hyde in the 90s sitcom “That 70s Show” was recently convicted of raping two women in his home in Southern California between 2001 and 2003. Masterson was originally convicted of three counts of rape in June 2020. However, this count was counted a mistrial In October 2022. and the court stated they would not retry Masterson on the charge. It was later dismissed and Masterson was only convicted of the two counts and would be eligible for parole after serving 25 1/2 years in prison.
“I know that you’re sitting here steadfast in your claims of innocence, and thus no doubt feeling victimized by a justice system that has failed you,” Judge Charlaine Olmedo told Masterson before handing down the sentence. “But Mr. Masterson, you are not the victim here. Your actions 20 years ago took away another person’s voice, and choice. One way or another you will have to come to terms with your prior actions, and their consequences.” Then preceded to give him the maximum of 30 years to life.
Nevertheless, all three parties were allowed to give victim impact statements. One of the victims stated “many cowards who can claim they just never saw him rape anyone.” referring to “That 70s Show” Co-star, Ashton Kutcher, after him and his wife, Mila Kunis, wrote character statements to the judge. They would quickly receive backlash for the letters and would soon release an apology video addressing the pain they had caused the victims and that they were requested to write the character letter by Masterton’s family stating “A couple of months ago, Danny’s family reached out to us and they asked us to write character letters to represent the person that we knew for 25 years so that the judge could take that into full consideration relative to the sentencing.” Kunis then expresses that “The letters were not written to question the legitimacy of the judicial system or the validity of the jury’s ruling…” However, many fans were skeptical of the couples apology and they were accused of victim blaming.
Soon after the incident Masterton’s Wife, Bijou Phillips’ sister, Chynna Phillips shared a message on Monday, September 11 to her Instagram, reacting to the matter. The quote reads “If you don’t feel like Praying, force it. Because something is also forcing you not to pray…” begging fans to pray for Masterson. Many fans were outraged. One user wrote “Yes please force yourself to pray for Danny Masterton’s victims instead of writing letters on his behalf” mocking the Actress. Whiles others reacted differently, commenting how they would pray for Masterson and his loved ones.
Either way this case is very controversial and devastating for fans of Masterson and will not be forgotten easily, staying in the mind of viewers and especially the victims…