Published Jun 17, 2020Former That '70s Show actor Danny Masterson has been charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office for raping three women.
Masterson, 44, was charged today with three counts of rape, Variety reports. If convicted, the actor faces up to 45 years in prison. Masterson was reportedly arrested by authorities this morning and is being held on $3.3 million USD bail.
Masterson is accused of raping a 23-year-old woman between January and December of 2001, in addition to allegedly raping a 28-year-old woman in April 2003. The final charge alleges that the actor raped another 23-year-old woman at his Hollywood Hills home between October and December of 2003.
Variety adds that the the District Attorney's Office also said it declined to file charges against Masterson in two other cases, citing insufficient evidence in one case and the statute of limitations in the other.
In a statement, Masterson's lawyer Tom Mesereau stated: "Mr. Masterson is innocent, and we're confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify. Obviously, Mr. Masterson and his wife are in complete shock considering that these nearly 20-year old allegations are suddenly resulting in charges being filed, but they and their family are comforted knowing that ultimately the truth will come out. The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false."
Masterson had been under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office since March 2017. At that time, Masterson vehemently denied the allegations, claiming they were part of a smear campaign against the Church of Scientology, of which he is a member.
In November 2017, actress and former Scientologist Chrissie Carnell Bixler revealed herself to be one of four women accusing Masterson of rape. Bixler's husband, At the Drive-In and Mars Volta vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala, spoke out in her defence while alleging that the Church of Scientology had "been outsourcing private investigators and various thugs to follow and try and intimidate my family under the policy known as fair game."
Masterson was fired from Netflix show The Ranch in December 2017. The decision came a day after the Huffington Post reported that a Netflix executive told one of Masterson's accusers that the streaming company didn't believe the accusations.
In August 2019, four women sued Masterson and the Church of Scientology, alleging they were stalked and intimidated in retaliation for going to the police.
This past January, Bixler-Zavala accused the church of poisoning his pet dogs in retaliation for speaking out against Masterson.