Danny Masterson, known largely for his starring roles in That 70's Show and Netflix’s The Ranch, has been charged with three counts of rape by force or fear. Per a developing report for KTLA 5, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon. The charges stem from alleged incidents occurring between 2001 and 2003. Masterson was arrested around 11:30 AM PST, but has already been released after posting a bail of $3.3 million.
The charges come more than three years after the initial claims were filed with the LAPD. The investigation, however, was “inexplicably stalled” despite an “overwhelming” amount of evidence, per an unidentified source. Since then, more women have come forward with their own stories involving similar assault. However, per KTLA 5, “the DA’s Office declined to file sexual assault charges against Masterson in two other cases. In one case, officials allege there was insufficient evidence and in the other, the crime was alleged to have occurred beyond the statute of limitations period.”
According to court documents, Masterson allegedly raped a 23-year-old woman between January and December 2001, and then a 28-year-old woman in April 2003. Sometime between October and December of that same year, he allegedly raped another 23-year-old woman that was invited to his home. Masterson’s attorney Tom Mesereau maintained his client’s innocence in a statement saying that they “we’re confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify.” He continued: “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. The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false.” If convicted, Masterson could face up to 45 years in prison.