In a recent development, actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis have come under scrutiny for writing letters to the judge in an attempt to lessen the sentence of Danny Masterson, who was convicted of rape.
Masterson was found guilty by a jury of raping two women in 2003. Despite the conviction, nearly 50 people, including Kutcher and Kunis, submitted letters in support of Masterson to influence the sentencing.
"While I am aware that he has been found guilty in two cases of rape with force and that the victims have a strong need for justice, I hope my testimony about his character will be considered during sentencing."
He added, "I do not believe he poses a long-term threat to society."
Mila Kunis' testimony
In her letter, Kunis vouched for Masterson's "exceptional character" and the "tremendous positive impact" he had on her and those around him.
She praised his commitment to living a drug-free life and his genuine care for others, stating,
"From the beginning, I could sense his innate goodness and sincere nature. His caring manner and his ability to give me advice have been greatly important for my personal and professional growth."
The police investigation against Masterson began in 2017. Among the three plaintiffs was a former girlfriend of the actor. The women described similar circumstances, claiming Masterson drugged and then raped them in his home.
The trial also touched upon the controversial Scientology organization, of which Masterson is a prominent member. At one point, the plaintiffs were also part of the organization, according to U.S. media reports.
No claims of innocence
It's worth noting that neither Kutcher nor Kunis argued in their letters that Masterson was innocent of the crimes.
Letters supporting the accused from family and friends are not uncommon before sentencing.