’70s show star Danny Masterson has appeared in Los Angeles Supreme Court to be tried for rape.
Masterson, a Scientologist, appeared in a blue suit and gray mask on Friday in the courtroom where he is accused of raping three women in separate incidents between 2001 and 2003.
The 44-year-old was arrested in mid-June and has since been released on $ 3.3 million bail. Masterson could face up to 45 years in life imprisonment if found guilty.
Also indicted was Scientology critic Leah Remini, who previously called Masterson’s arrest “just the beginning” of the demise of the Church of Scientology.
’70s show star Danny Masterson appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court for rape on Friday
Masterson was seen in a blue suit and gray mask on Friday in the courtroom where he is accused of raping three women
Masterson could face up to 45 years in life if convicted
Outspoken Scientology critic Leah Remini appeared at Masterson’s arraignment in support of his alleged victims
Remini, seen arriving in court this morning, may have been brought in as a former Scientologist to talk about Masterson’s character at the time of her affiliation with the church.
Remini is one of Scientology’s most ardent critics after leaving the religion and exposing the inner workings with a reality show Scientology and the Aftermath.
It’s unclear what Remini’s part is in the affair, but she lends her support to accuser Chrissie Carnell Bixler, who previously dated Masterson.
Leah Remini and Danny Masterson in 2009. She spoke out against Scientology for a long time
Remini may be brought in as a former Scientologist to talk about Masterson’s character at the time of her affiliation with the church.
Masterson’s lawyer filed a demurrer on the arraignment, postponing it until October 19.
His alleged victims received a protection order and Masterson was ordered to surrender his firearms.
It took about three hours for the arraignment to begin, as Masterson arrived with an entourage of around 20, according to LA Times reporter James Queally.
Masterson’s attorney, Tom Mesereau, accused former LAPD leader Charlie Beck and district attorney Jackie Lacey of yielding to pressure from victims by laying the charges and said they were purely political.
Masterson is accused of raping a 23-year-old woman between January and December 2001, according to the complaint.
He is also accused of raping a 28-year-old woman in April 2003, and between October and December that year, of raping a 23-year-old woman whom authorities say they invited to his home in Hollywood Hills.
Last year, four women filed a lawsuit against Masterson in California, claiming the actor drugged, raped and sexually assaulted them in the early 2000s.
The lawsuit also names the Church of Scientology and its leader David Miscavige as accused, claiming the women were harassed in a “plot to cover up that Daniel Masterson sexually assaulted four young women.”
Two of the women named in the costume were Masterson’s ex-girlfriends – Chrissie Bixler and Bobette Riales – while the other two are listed as Jane Does.
The lawsuit states: “When these women came forward to report Masterson’s crimes, the defendants conspired and systematically harassed, harassed, invaded their privacy and that of their families, and intentionally caused them emotional distress and silence and intimidate them. “
Masterson called the lawsuit against him and the Church of Scientology a “shameful take of money.”
In a statement to DailyMail.com, the Church of Scientology called the trial “baseless” and the allegations “ridiculous and sham.”
“It’s a dishonest and mind-blowing publicity stunt. Leah Remini takes advantage of these people as pawns in her lucrative scam.
Chrissie Bixler dated Masterson for several years and claims he allegedly had sex with her by force and became violent when she refused. She says her dog mysteriously died after reporting him (pictured together in 2000)
Bobette Riales and Masterson are dated 2002 to 2004, when Masterson allegedly drugged and sexually assaulted her. She claims she was harassed by the church after making an allegation (pictured together in 2003)
Danny Masterson is pictured in sunglasses with his That ’70s co-stars
A spokesperson for the district attorney’s office said they had “refused to file sexual assault charges against Masterson in two other cases, one for insufficient evidence and the other based on the statute of limitations. for the alleged crime ”.
Masterson has been married to actor and model Bijou Phillips since 2011.
Masterson’s attorney, Tom Mesereau, said in a statement: “Mr. Masterson is innocent and we have no doubts that he will be exonerated when all the evidence is finally revealed and witnesses have a chance to testify.
“Obviously Mr. Masterson and his wife are in complete shock as these almost 20-year-old allegations suddenly lead to the filing of charges, but they and their families are comforted to know that ultimately the truth will be revealed.
“People who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations are false.
All of the alleged crimes occurred at the home of the accused, said Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller of the Sex Crimes Division, who is pursuing the case.