Actor Danny Masterson retrial on rape charges


Shayda Dadvand

Sophomore Nicole Scott watches actor Danny Masterson play the character “Hyde” on “That ’70s Show.”

Shayda Dadvand, Editor in Chief

APRIL 2023 — Famous actor (best known for his role in “That ’70s Show”) Danny Masterson faced a retrial of the case that he allegedly raped three women. 


Masterson was initially tried in Nov. 2022, where the judges declared a mistrial after being unable to come to a verdict. 


The charges now are the same as those placed in the first trial. The significant change, however, is that the retrial involves the discussion of substance use, in which prosecutors claimed Masterson drugged each of his victims before allegedly assaulting them. 


Additionally, a fourth accuser presented herself, claiming Masterson had sexually assaulted her in 2000, after a cast party. This extra accusation strengthens the credibility of the three other women.  


Masterson also belonged to the Church of Scientology, as did two of the women who accused him. The women testified that “church policy discouraged them from reporting the accusations to law enforcement,” according to The New York Times


A trial brief stated that one of the victims—a member of the church— received a letter which led her to believe that if she were to report the accusation, “I would be declared a suppressive person, and I would be out of my family and friends and everything I have.”


The victim said she had been shown an “Ethics Book” in Scientology, which stated a policy of high crime in “reporting another Scientologist to law enforcement,” she said. 


The Church has denied these accusations, claiming its doctrines were misread, and that it encourages Scientologists to abide by the law. 


Regardless, all three women eventually reported the cases, bringing us to the present situation of Masterson’s retrial. 


Students share their opinions after finding out about the accusations. Junior Kayla Zahabian, for example, reflected on her previous perspective of Masterson’s character (Hyde) on “That ’70s Show.”


“I loved Hyde; I would see him as a funny guy who I’d want to be around, myself,” Zahabian said. “But after hearing the news, it changed my full perspective on him, and I wouldn’t want to surround myself with him.” 


After hearing about Masterson’s trial, senior Karen Galas’ attitude changed as well. 


“Since I watched [“That ’70s Show”] at such a younger age, I looked up to a bunch of the characters,” Galas said. “So just hearing [about the case] is totally disappointing; it just changes my whole perspective on how people are turning out today, and it’s just becoming a crazier and scarier world.”