Danny Masterson's 30-Year Prison Sentence Should Concern Americans

(Photo by Annie I. Bang /Invision/AP, File)

The trial of Danny Masterson is...odd. 

The former "That 70s' Show" actor was accused of rape by three women during the "#MeToo" era, with these assaults allegedly occurring between 2001 and 2003. The evidence was nonexistent, but Masterson was up against the momentum of a popular movement that was producing an accusation a day. 

As I wrote in December of last year, Masterson's first trial ended in a mistrial with the jury "hopelessly deadlocked." As I said then, I'm glad it ended that way, not because I think Masterson is innocent  — I don't know if he's innocent or guilty — but because mere accusations shouldn't be enough to condemn a person in our justice system. A claim that someone did something a decade ago who has no proof to accompany it shouldn't have any weight in an American court of law. 

In the end, a lot of the "#MeToo" movement ended up being a get-rich (or famous) quick scheme and without evidence, the Masterson trial smelled the same as many other accusations of sexual assault made around that time.

(READ: The Danny Masterson Trial Is When Justice Starts to Look an Awful Lot Like Extortion)

But after the mistrial, they brought Masterson back to court where an LA jury found him guilty of two counts of rape. What was the evidence? None has been reported, just the same accusations but according to The Hollywood Reporter, some special attention has been put on the Church of Scientology to which Masterson belongs, and the claim that the church stopped the girls from reporting the rape initially: 

The Church of Scientology played a crucial role in the trial. Allegations against the church were allowed to be considered to explain why the accusers, all of whom are former Scientologists, didn’t contact law enforcement immediately after the alleged assaults. They testified that they feared being labeled a “suppressive person” within the church, which would lead to their expulsion and isolation from other members, and were told that the accusations would be internally handled.

The church denies these claims and it appears another court case will arise out of this allegation, but the claim that an organization did something is still not evidence. Nothing was proved...and yet Masterson was found guilty of the accusations and not only that, he got 30 years in prison. 

Again, I don't know if Masterson is guilty of the claims or not. If he is, then he can rot behind bars, but so far he's guilty because a few women say he is and a jury didn't seem to think there was plausible deniability. 

But let's leave Los Angeles for a minute and head to Rochester, Minnesota, where Mohamed Bakari Shei received 176 days he can serve via work release for raping multiple children between 2017 and 2019, including kids as young as four years old. 

According to KAAL-TV, Shei entered an "Alford Plea," meaning he "pleaded guilty by acknowledging that the state had sufficient evidence to convict him of sexually abusing children in 2017-2019, but maintained his own innocence."

Some of his victims weren't just one-offs either. Shei repeatedly raped a 9-year-old for a year. The four-year-old was also reportedly raped repeatedly between 2017 and 2018. 

This man did unforgivable things and he will effectively suffer a six-month setback in his life, or just 116 days for good behavior. Keep in mind that the recommended prison sentence for this kind of atrocity is 12 years, but Shei will get out of prison in six months.

Oh wait, his sentence started in February. He's already out and walking freely. Moreover, reports that he managed to get a plea deal that stops him from having to register as a sex offender against minors in the state of Minnesota. 

At some point, something went horrifically wrong in our justice system. A man merely accused of raping women without evidence can be forced to spend the rest of his life in prison, but a man who is proven to have raped very young children on multiple occasions will get a mere slap on the wrist by comparison. 

Where is the issue originating? There could be a myriad of reasons but it's not hard to conclude that some of this is politically motivated. Masterson happened to be accused of rape when it was popular to accuse celebrities of rape and nearly life-destroying to not "listen and believe." Minnesota is a deep-blue state where leftist soft-on-crime approaches are clearly in effect. 

This isn't justice; it's a perverted popularity contest where all you have to be is popular with the right people to get away with murder or unpopular at the time to be sentenced way more harshly than you needed to be. 

This should be frightening to everyone because all that needs to happen for you to have this injustice system come down on you is to be accused of something at the right place and time by the right people. 


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