Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced on Wednesday, June 17, that the actor, 44, was charged with three counts of rape by force or fear. He was arrested at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, according to LAPD spokesperson Officer Rosario Cervantes, and released on $3.3 million bail. His arraignment is scheduled for September 18. If convicted, the actor faces a possible maximum sentence of 45 years to life in state prison.
Masterson has been accused of sexually assaulting a 23-year-old woman between January and December 2001, a 28-year-old woman in April 2003 and a 23-year-old woman between October and December 2003. All of the alleged crimes happened at his home. The District Attorney’s Office declined to file charges in regards to two other alleged assaults due to insufficient evidence and statute of limitations.
The That ‘70s Show alum is facing a maximum sentence of 45 years to life in state prison if he is convicted.
“Mr. Masterson is innocent, and we’re confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify,” his criminal defense attorney said in a statement to Us on Wednesday. “Obviously Mr. Masterson and his wife, [Bijou Phillips], 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 initially made headlines in March 2017 after multiple women came forward with claims against him. The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to Us at the time that they were investigating the allegations.
“We are aware of [the victim]’s 16-year-old allegations,” his rep said in a statement at the time, referring to the first woman who filed a police report. “It was only after [the victim] was in contact with Leah Remini that she made allegations of sexual assault by Mr. Masterson. The alleged incident occurred in the middle of their six-year relationship, after which she continued to be his longtime girlfriend.”
Masterson is a Scientologist, as were three of his alleged victims. Remini, for her part, is an outspoken critic of the religion.
The Ranch alum’s ex Bobette Riales became the fifth woman to accuse him of sexual misconduct in December 2017, when she claimed that he “repeatedly raped” her.
Four women filed a lawsuit against Masterson, the Church of Scientology and church leader David Miscavige in August 2019 for allegedly harassing them after they reported their claims to the police. The Men at Work alum called the case “beyond ridiculous” in a statement to Us via his lawyer, while a litigation attorney for the church deemed it a “baseless lawsuit [that] will go nowhere because the claims are ludicrous.”
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