A Los Angeles Superior Court judge refused Monday to dismiss charges against actor Danny Masterson, who is accused of raping three women at his Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003.
Judge Eleanor J. Hunter denied the defense’s motion to dismiss based on the statute of limitations, leaving Masterson facing three counts of forcible rape that could result in a sentence of up to 45 years to life in state prison if he’s convicted as charged.
The 44-year-old actor — known for appearing on “That ’70s Show” and “The Ranch” — appeared in a downtown courtroom in a mask, as is now required for entry to the courthouse due to the coronavirus pandemic. He’s due back in court on Nov. 2 for arraignment.
Masterson was arrested June 17 by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division and released about three hours later on a $3.3 million bond. Shortly after the charges were announced, Masterson’s attorney,
Tom, released a statement saying his client “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.” “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,” said then. “The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false.” The criminal complaint alleges that Masterson raped a 23-year-old woman between January 2001 and December 2001. He is also charged with raping a 28-year-old woman in April 2003 and a 23-year-old woman he had invited to his home some time between October and December 2003, according to Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller. The District Attorney’s Office declined to file sexual assault charges against him in two other alleged incidents