Danny Masterson has been charged with “forcibly raping three women” in separate incidents that took place between 2001 and 2003, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced on Wednesday.
The three counts of rape by force or fear come after a three-year investigation of Masterson, who is 44 years old. The charges were filed Tuesday and Masterson was arrested late Wednesday morning, jail records showed. He was being held on $3.3 million bail.
The “That ‘70s Show” star is accused of raping a 23-year-old woman in 2001, according to the complaint. He is also accused of raping a 28-year-old woman in 2003, and “sometime” between the months October and December of that year is accused of also raping a 23-year-old woman, whom the actor invited into his Hollywood Hills home, according to a news release from the District Attorney’s (DA’s) Office.
In a statement on Wednesday, Masterson’s attorney Tom Mesereau said 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,” Mesereau continued in the statement. “The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false.”
The case, which remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division, was filed for warrant on Tuesday, the DA’s Office said.
Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller of the Sex Crimes Division, who is prosecuting the case, said all of the alleged crimes occurred at the defendant’s home.
Furthermore, the DA’s Office declined to file sexual assault charges against Masterson in two additional cases — one for insufficient evidence and the other based upon the statute of limitations for the crime alleged, according to the release.
Masterson was fired from his role on Netflix’s “The Ranch” in 2017, shortly after the allegations came to light. A criminal investigation was conducted at the time but no charges were filed.