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Actor Danny Masterson accused of raping three women

Danny Masterson, known for his leading role in That 70’s Showwas accused of rape. The actor maintains his innocence.

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that Masterson, 44, has been charged with raping three women in two separate incidents between 2001 and 2003. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 45 years to life in state prison. Los Angeles County inmate records show Masterson was arrested at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. He is being held on $3.3 million bail.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Actor Danny Masterson attends the premiere of "Big Bear" at the London Hotel on September 19, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Actor Danny Masterson attends the premiere of "Big Bear" at the London Hotel on September 19, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Danny Masterson attends the premiere of Big Bear at the London Hotel on September 19, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Masterson is accused of raping a 23-year-old woman in 2001. The indictment also alleges that he raped a 23-year-old woman and a 28-year-old woman in two separate incidents in 2003. All of the crimes he is accused of took place at his Hollywood Hills home. Prosecutors pointed out that they did not file sexual assault charges against Masterson in two other cases, once because of insufficient evidence and once because the statute of limitations on the crime charged had expired.

“Mr. Masterson is innocent and we are confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify,” Tom Mesereau, the actor’s defense attorney, said in a statement to Yahoo Entertainment.

“Of course, Mr. Masterson and his wife are completely shocked that these nearly 20-year-old allegations are suddenly leading to criminal charges, but they and their family take comfort in the fact that the truth will come out in the end,” Mesereau continued. “The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know that the allegations are false.”

Masterson has been married to Bijou Phillips since 2011. They have a 6-year-old daughter.

Accusations of sexual assault were first made against Masterson in 2016 and he has been under investigation by the LAPD ever since. When the #MeToo movement swept through Hollywood following Harvey Weinstein’s downfall in 2017, Netflix fired him from The Ranch.

In 2019, two of Masterson’s alleged victims, Chrissie Bixler and Bobette Riales, spoke out against Masterson and the Church of Scientology in the documentary series Leah Remini: Scientology and the consequencesThey claimed they were drugged and raped during their relationship with the actor, a practicing Scientologist.

Bixler, who dated Masterson for six years and was a practicing Scientologist, claimed Masterson drugged and sexually assaulted her in December 2001. Bixler claimed she reported the crime to an “ethics officer” at a Scientology Celebrity Center, but was told she could not have been raped because she was in a relationship with Masterson. She is one of four women who have filed a civil lawsuit against Masterson, the Church of Scientology and church leader David Miscavige. The Church of Scientology and Masterson have denied all allegations.

Masterson called the lawsuit “beyond ridiculous” at the time.

“I will not fight my ex-girlfriend in the media, as she has accused me of doing for over two years. I will beat her in court – and I look forward to it because then the public will finally be able to know the truth and see how I was duped by this woman. And if her lawsuit is dismissed, I will sue her and the others who jumped on the bandwagon for the damage they caused to me and my family,” he said in August 2019.

Arraignment in the Masterson rape case has been scheduled for September 18, 2020.

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