Danny Masterson denies three charges of rape in court

Actor Danny Masterson, best known for his role on the hit show That 70s Show, has appeared in court facing three charges of rape. He has been charged with raping three women in their 20s between 2000 and 2003. If convicted, he could face 45 years in prison. The actor’s […]

Actor Danny Masterson, best known for his role on the hit show That 70s Show, has appeared in court facing three charges of rape.

He has been charged with raping three women in their 20s between 2000 and 2003. If convicted, he could face 45 years in prison.

The actor’s lawyer disputed all three claims, arguing that the actor was being persecuted due to his involvement with the Church of Scientology. They believe that Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey filed the inaccurate charges against Masterson in order to gain favour before an election in November.

“There have been repeated attempts to politicise this case,” said Masterson’s lawyer Mr Mesereau, who has previously defended singer Michael Jackson against charges of sexual misconduct . “He is absolutely not guilty and we’re going to prove it.”

Masterson’s three alleged victims were present in the courtroom to watch the proceedings. Their accusations against the actor came to light during the #MeToo movement in 2017 –– at the time he called them “outrageous” and vowed to clear his name.

Actress Leah Remini joined the crowd supporting the alleged victims who remained outside the courthouse, prevented from entering due to coronavirus restrictions. Remini has been vocal in her protest of Scientology, after leaving the church in 2013.

https://twitter.com/LeahRemini/status/1273377412709924864?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1273377412709924864%7Ctwgr%5Eshare_3&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.yahoo.com%2Fentertainment%2Fleah-remini-attends-danny-masterson-arraignment-rape-support-accusers-215048955.html

Masterson was charged after a three-year investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department –– two other cases were dismissed dues to insufficient evidence and the expiry of the statute of limitations.

One of the victims spoke about her experience in June, when Masterson was arrested.

“Since we were victimised and raped by Danny Masterson — and knowing we are not the only victims—all we have wanted was justice, accountability, and truth,” she wrote in a statement. “Instead, we were subjected to continued harassment, embarrassment, and re-victimisation by Masterson and the Church of Scientology, which has only worsened since they learned we were cooperating with authorities.”

The women who made the rape claims against Masterson say that they have been repeatedly harassed by members of the Church of Scientology. They say they have been followed, stalked, photographed and threatened. One woman claims her dog died in mysterious circumstances after she came forward accusing the actor of rape.

Shortly after his arrest, Masterson was released on US$3.3 million (approx. $4.7 million) bail. His arraignment will continue on October 19th.

The actor was dropped from his role on Netflix’s The Ranch in 2017 after the allegations against him came to light.

ASNF

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