Danny Masterson was formally charged with rape on Wednesday by Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey for three alleged incidents that happened between 2001 and 2003. While the “That 70s Show” star has not commented on the case publicly, his lawyer released a statement in which he claimed that the actor is innocent of the charges and that he and his wife Bijou Phillips and “in complete shock” over the nearly 20-year-old allegations.
“Mr. Masterson is innocent, and we’re confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify,” attorney Tom Mesereau said in the statement released to CNN.
It 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.”
Masterson was arrested on Wednesday morning and was released several hours later after posting a $3.3 million bond.
The allegations against “The Ranch” star stem from three separate incidents. The first happened in 2001 when he is accused of having raped a 23-year-old women. The second accusation comes from a then-28-year-old woman who says she was raped by Masterson in April 2003. And the third allegation is from another 23-year-old woman who says she was raped near the end of 2003 when Masterson invited her to his Hollywood Hills home.
Deputy District Attorney Robert Mueller of the Sex Crimes Division, who is the prosecutor in the case, said that all of the alleged crimes occurred at Masterson’s home. If he is convicted, he faces up to 45 years in jail.
The District Attorney’s Office said that there were two additional accusers, but they did not file charges in those incidents because “one for insufficient evidence and the other based upon the statute of limitations for the crime alleged.”
Masterson rose to fame in the last 90s for his role as Steven Hyde on the sitcom “That 70s Show,” which aired for eight seasons on the Fox network from 1998-2006.
He later went on to co-star with Ashton Kutcher, who was also on “That 70s Show,” in the Netflix comedy “The Ranch.” When the rape allegations were first made public in 2017, his character was written off the show.