Danny Masterson charged with raping three women
Danny Masterson has been charged with raping three women, Hollywood Reporter reports. Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced the charges, saying that the forcible rapes are alleged to have occurred "in separate incidents occurring between 2001 and 2003."
Specifically, Masterson is charged with raping a 23-year-old woman between January and December of 2001, a 28-year-old woman in April of 2003, and a 23-year-old woman in December of 2003. Each case is alleged to have happened inside Masterson's Hollywood Hills, CA home, Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller of the Sex Crimes Division, who is prosecuting the case, said.
Masterson faces a maximum sentence of 45 years to life in prison if convicted as charged.
On two other counts, the District Attorney declined to file charges against Masterson, citing insufficient evidence in one case and the statute of limitation for the other.
UPDATE: Masterson's attorney Tom Mesereau made a statement to CNN:
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. 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 and the Church of Scientology were sued by four women, including Chrissie Carnell-Bixler (who is married to At the Drive In frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala, who has been outspoken against Masterson on social media) in 2019. The women said they were stalked and intimidated by Masterson and the church after accusing him of rape. The Bixlers have discussed being harassed by Masterson and the church on social media.
The LAPD's investigations into accusations of rape against Masterson began in 2017, but were previously "inexplicably stalled."
Masterson has denied previous allegations.