“That ’70s Show” actor Danny Masterson has been charged with rape in three separate alleged cases that occurred almost two decades ago, Los Angeles officials said on Wednesday.
An arrest warrant was issued Tuesday against Masterson for three counts of forced rape in the alleged assault of three different women between 2001 and 2003, according to a statement from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Masterson, 44, is charged with raping a 23-year-old woman between January and December 2001 and a 28-year-old woman in April 2003 at her home. Another 23-year-old woman claims that Masterson raped her after inviting her to his home in Hollywood Hills between October and December 2003, the prosecution said.
The women are alleged victims of sexual assault and were not named on the release of the district attorney.
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Prosecutors have refused to charge Masterson in two other allegations of sexual assault, according to the Los Angeles County Attorney’s Office. One for insufficient evidence and the other for the limitation period for the alleged crime.
Inmate records show that Masterson was sentenced to Los Angeles County Prison on Wednesday and released on bail around 2:45 p.m. local time. The bond was set at $ 3.3 million.
The actor faces a maximum sentence of 45 years in prison for life if convicted of the three counts.
Masterson’s lawyer Tom Mesereau insisted in a statement to NBC News that the actor was innocent and that he would be exonerated when “all the evidence is revealed”.
“Clearly, Mr. Masterson and his wife are completely in shock as these nearly 20-year-old allegations suddenly result in charges being laid, but they and their families are comforted to know that in the end , the truth will be revealed, “said Mesereau. “People who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know that the allegations are false.”
Masterson left the Netflix series “The Ranch” in 2017 after four women accused him of rape, charges that Masterson denied at the time. The 44-year-old actor starred in “The Ranch” with Ashton Kutcher and was executive producer of the series.
It is unclear whether these allegations are linked to the charges announced Wednesday.
“I’m obviously very disappointed with Netflix’s decision to strike out my character from” The Ranch “. From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me, “Masterson said in a statement to NBC News in 2017.” Law enforcement investigated these allegations over 15 years ago and the have found it to be unfounded.
The charges against Masterson became public at the start of the #MeToo movement, where victims were encouraged to report sexual harassment and misconduct by powerful figures.