Danny Masterson has pleaded not guilty to charges that he raped three women between 2001 and 2003.
Masterson, known for his roles on That 70s Show and The Ranch, was arrested last June on charges that he raped a 23-year-old woman whom he’d invited to his home in the Hollywood Hills in 2003, a 28-year-old woman the same year, and a 23-year-old woman in 2001.
Masterson did not materialize at court himself; his attorney, Tom Mesereau, entered the plea on his behalf. In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, Mesereau said,
“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 is out on $3.3 million bail, and is due back in court on March 24. If convicted, he faces up to 45 years in prison.
The allegations against Masterson first came to light three years ago, when four women who knew Masterson through the Church of Scientology accused him of raping them in separate incidents in the 2000s. Three of the women told authorities they didn’t come forward sooner because the Church pressured them not to.
In October, a judge dismissed a motion filed by Masterson’s defense, claiming that the rape allegations against Masterson exceeded the statute of limitations.