Actor and Scientologist Danny Masterson has pleaded not guilty to three counts of rape following his arrest this summer.
After years of public accusations of sexual assault, the “That 70’s Show” was arrested in June and charged with three counts of rape by force or fear. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office declined to file charges in connection to two additional allegations of sexual assault; citing the statute of limitations in one case and a lack of sufficient evidence in another.
Masterson has denied the allegations against him.
“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 actor’s lawyer Thomas Mesereau said after his arrest, according to the report. “The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false.”
Masterson is a member of the Church of Scientology. The actor and the church are defendants in a 2019 civil suit brought by four women who claim to have been harassed and stalked after reporting allegations against Masterson to police. The case remains in arbitration. according to KCAL-9.
Masterson was released on $3.3 million bail this summer. If convicted of the charges, he faces up to 45 years in prison.
[Feature image; Wade Payne/Invision/AP, File]