Danny Masterson, who played Steven Hyde on the hit show Fox US between 1998 and 2006, made his first court appearance on Friday, where his lawyer declared his innocence and denounced the charges against him as “politicized” .
Prosecutors say he raped a 23-year-old woman in 2001, a 28-year-old woman in April 2003 and a 23-year-old woman between October and December 2003.
All of the alleged attacks allegedly took place at his home.
The 44-year-old has been on bail since June, when he was arrested after a three-year investigation that resulted in rare lawsuits against a famous Hollywood figure in the #MeToo era.
He could face up to 45 years in prison if found guilty.
The three women who made the allegations were sitting in the gallery of the Los Angeles courtroom.
About 20 of Masterson’s friends and supporters accompanied him to court, standing in the courthouse lobby awaiting the hearing, but only a few were allowed in.
No plea was entered, but his lawyer Tom Mesereau said the charges were the result of unfair media hype and pressure to prosecute his client.
He said: “There have been repeated attempts to politicize this matter. He is absolutely not guilty and we will prove it. “
The judge made a ruling allowing the cameras to go to court at a later hearing.
Masterson’s defense attorneys filed documents requesting that the criminal complaint be dismissed due to insufficient evidence.
A hearing on the matter will be held before Masterson is forced to plead.
The women said in a statement during Masterson’s arrest that they had suffered “harassment, embarrassment and revictimization” since they began assisting authorities with their investigations – and that they were “grateful that the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is finally looking for criminals.” Justice ”.
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This’ 70s show was regularly watched by up to 10 million viewers in the United States and launched the careers of Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Topher Grace.
Until recently it was broadcast on Netflix and broadcast on UK terrestrial television for a period on Channel 5.
Masterson also starred in a cable TV sitcom he co-created, Men at World, and another Netflix comedy show, starring Kutcher and Debra Winger, called The Ranch.