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Danny Masterson Arrested on Multiple Rape Charges

The former 'That 70s Show' actor faces up to 45 years in prison
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2020 5:05 PM CDT
Updated Jun 18, 2020 1:10 AM CDT

(Newser) – Actor Danny Masterson has been hit with three charges of rape for incidents ranging from 2001 to 2003, Los Angeles prosecutors said Wednesday. The former That 70s Show actor is accused of raping three women at his Hollywood Hills home: a 23-year-old sometime in 2001, a 28-year-old in April 2003 and another 23-year-old in late 2003, the LA Times reports. Masterson, 44, was arrested by the LAPD on Wednesday and is behind bars on $3.3 million bail. He faces arraignment in September and up to 45 years in prison. The Los Angeles County district attorney's office said it decided against two other rape charges, citing the statute of limitations in one and lack of evidence in another, Variety reports.

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Masterson's attorney, Tom Mesereau, said in a statement that his client "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." Meserau described Masterson and his wife, Bijou Phillips, as being "in complete shock considering that these nearly 20-year old allegations are suddenly resulting in charges being filed." The LAPD has been investigating Masterson since 2016, and four women sued him and the Church of Scientology in 2019, claiming they were stalked and harassed after going to the police. Netflix dropped Masterson from its series The Ranch in 2017 amid increasing scrutiny of sexual misconduct during the #MeToo movement. (Read more sexual misconduct stories.)

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