That 70’s Show Actor Danny Masterson Charged With Multiple Rapes

Reigniting the #MeToo row

Danny Masterson, That 70’s Show actor, has been charged with the rape of three women in the early 2000’s. The charges come after a three-year long thorough investigation. 

Danny Masterson, who was arrested on June 17, was released a few hours later on statutory bail set at $3.3 million. His arraignment is slated for September 18.

The 44-year-old has been accused of raping a 23-year-old woman in 2001, and 23-year-old and 28-year-old women in 2003. All the three incidents reportedly occurred at the actor’s residence.

The actor was accused of two more cases of sexual assault but due to lack of sufficient evidence and the expiration of the statute of limitations, the prosecutors did not file those charges.

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Danny Masterson, who played the character Steven Hyde on the famous sitcom, has been charged with three counts of rape by force or fear, and could face a sentence of 45 years in prison if found guilty. 

The women, whose names remain unknown, issued a public statement highlighting how they had suffered “harassment, embarrassment and re-victimization”. 

“We are thankful that the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office is finally seeking criminal justice against Masterson,” it said. “We are confident that the truth will be known and hope that the charges filed today are the first steps in this long journey.”

Masterson’s attorney, Tom Mesereau, is certain that his client is innocent. ”We’re confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify”

Mesereau is known for fighting high stake cases and has previously represented celebrities like Michael Jackson and Bill Cosby.

“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,” Mesereau added. 

Masterson got married to actor and model Bijou Phillips in 2011 and they together have a 6-year-old daughter, Fianna. 

Accusations against Masterson first came to light in 2017 during the height of the #MeToo movement. He was shooting for Netflix’s comedy series “The Ranch” at that time but was soon fired as LAPD began probing into the allegations. The show marked his reunion with his That 70’s Show co-star Ashton Kutcher. 

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“I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty,” the actor remarked then. “However, in the current climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused.”

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