Danny Masterson to stand trial on rape charges, judge orders
After being charged with raping three women between 2001 and 2003, Danny Masterson has been ordered to stand trial for the charges, Variety reports. Following a preliminary hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court, a court spokesperson confirmed to Variety that Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo had ruled that prosecutors had presented sufficient credible evidence for the case to go to trial.
Masterson denied the charges, and his attorney, Thomas Mesereau, said he'd had consensual sex with the three women, Associated Press reports. Another defense attorney, Sharon Appelbaum, said the women had formed a "sisterhood" that "seems to want to take down Mr. Masterson and take down Scientology."
Masterson faces up to 45 years in prison if he's convicted on all charges.
Previously, 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.