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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

COLUMN: One predator down, plenty more to capture

Brie+Coder+is+a+graduate+student+studying+graduate+student+in+communication+and+leadership+and+can+be+reached+at+bmcoder%40eiu.edu+or+217-581-2812.
Brie Coder
Brie Coder is a graduate student studying graduate student in communication and leadership and can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.

Remember my column from nine months ago? I reported on the unfortunate mistrial of actor Danny Masterson, and how he came away with a deadlock juror, allowing him to walk the streets a free man.

Well, there came a retrial, and guess what? I can happily say a new and profound sentence arrived last week as Masterson was found guilty of sexual assault.

The “That 70’s Show” star will certainly not be hanging out, down the street, anymore, as he is facing 30 years to life in prison for two counts of rape.

Similar to the case held last year, Masterson was accused of sexually assaulting two women at his Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003.

At the retrial, the jurors (seven women and five men) convicted Masterson of sexually assaulting Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2. However, there was a third Jane Doe, Masterson’s former girlfriend, whom the jury could not reach a decision on, which they labeled deadlock.

Despite no reaction to all of the Jane Doe statements before being whisked away in cuffs, it was the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Judge Charlaine Olmedo, who gave a stern tongue lashing on the former popular television star.

“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. But Mr. Masterson, you are not the victim here,” Olmedo stated before Masterson last week.

In a statement, one of Masterson’s lawyers appreciated the jurors and the court’s efforts; however, they thought they made a mistake regarding Masterson’s “consensual encounters.” They will look to appeal very soon.

“Though we have great respect for the jury in this case and for our system of justice overall, sometimes they get it wrong,” one of Masterson’s attorneys said, “and that’s what happened here.”

“Mr. Masterson did not commit the crimes for which he has been convicted, and we and the appellate lawyers — the best and the brightest in the country — are confident that these convictions will be overturned.”

It is important to note that Masterson did not take the stand at either trial nor did he make a statement or some sort of apology to his victims last week.

Of course, The Church of Scientology, a self-help religion cultivated by L. Ron Hubbard in the 1950s, played a pivotal role in the retrial. Masterson and the three Jane Doe’s in the case all participated in the religion.

After Masterson’s sentencing, the church released a statement that did not use Masterson’s name but indicated the court did not follow the law and that they “violated the First Amendment.”

All the Jane Does, in both cases, admitted they went to the church for help regarding these incidences of sexual assault, to which the church refused to get involved or help. In fact, they persuaded the women to refrain from involving the police.

Just the other day, I came across a meme that showed Masterson’s character, Steven Hyde, saying, “Whereas I’ll be a success if I stay out of jail.” Then, down below is a graphic you can see on a video game that reads “Mission Failed.”

Despite the bad-boy charm Hyde carried on “That ‘70s Show,” there was a night and day difference between him and the man who played him: one was vulnerable, trying to find his place in the world under his rock and roll t-shirts and aviators, while the other knew his place in the world and preyed upon those who did not.

I will end this column with a parting comment from Los Angeles County District Attorney, George Gascón, who put it best regarding the shady men and women of Hollywood.

“One of my top priorities is to ensure that Los Angeles will no longer be a hunting ground for [the] Hollywood elite who feel entitled to prey on women.”

One predator down. Plenty more to capture next.

Brie Coder can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581.2812.

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Brie Coder
Brie Coder, Columnist
Brie Coder is a graduate student in communication and leadership. She previously served as a columnist for The News.

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