Actor Danny Masterson is facing decades in prison as the That '70s Show star has been charged with three counts of rape in California. Though sexual assault allegations had previously led to Masterson's removal from the Netflix series The Ranch, the actor had not yet been charged with any crimes. Reportedly, Masterson has been under LAPD investigation since 2016, and if found guilty in a court of law for these crimes, the actor could spend up to 45 years in prison.
According to the Los Angeles District Attorney's office, Danny Masterson allegedly raped a 23-year-old woman at some point between January and December of 2001. Two other rape charges allege Danny Masterson also raped a 28-year-old woman in April 2003 and another 23-year-old woman between October and December of 2003 at his home in Hollywood Hills. This follows a lawsuit filed against masters by four women alleging sexual assault, and from the start, Masterson has vehemently denied the allegations against him. Back in February, his attorney referred to the lawsuit as a "shameful money grab."
Danny Masterson is perhaps most famous for starring as a part of the ensemble cast of That '70s Show between 1998 and 2006, meaning the alleged assaults would have occurred during his time playing the fan favorite character Steven Hyde. In 2016, he'd reunite with Ashton Kutcher for the Netflix series The Ranch, portraying Kutcher's brother Rooster on the popular show. Once the allegations of Masterson came to light, Netflix swiftly gave Masterson the boot from the series, and Rooster was subsequently killed off to explain the actor's absence. Masterson has not been working much since, though he's credited as starring in the upcoming purgatory-set thriller In Limbo.
News of Masterson's criminal charges comes days after comedian Chris D'Elia has also been accused of inappropriate sexual conduct. Multiple women are alleging D'Elia had sexually harassed them when they were underage, also including screenshots of online conversations they claim to have had with D'Elia. The You star has since responded to the accusations, saying he "never knowingly pursued any underage women at any point." He also went on to apologize for his behavior, though he would still note, "All of my relationships have been both legal and consensual and I have never met or exchanged any inappropriate photos with the people who have tweeted about me."
It's not entirely clear what led to the District Attorney's decision to charge Masterson with rape, but the evidence from the investigation will be brought to light when Masterson stands trial. There are many who would say that the charges are a long time coming based on the accounts of Masterson's alleged assaults that have been reported on in previous years. In 2019, the accusations had again gotten mainstream attention when two of the accusers were interviewed on the series finale of the Leah Remini series Scientology and the Aftermath and spoke about their experiences. As of now, the actor has not responded officially to the news of his criminal charges. This news comes to us from The Wrap