Danny Masterson Ordered to Stand Trial on Rape Charges
A judge on Friday ordered “That ’70s Show” actor Danny Masterson to stand trial on charges that he raped three women nearly 20 years ago.
Masterson faces up to 45 years to life in prison if convicted on all three charges. Each of the three women testified at a preliminary hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court, which began on Tuesday.
Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo ruled that prosecutors had offered enough evidence for the case to go to trial, a court spokesperson confirmed. Masterson is due back in court for an arraignment on June 7.
The Associated Press reported that one of the women, identified as Jen B., told the court that Masterson had carried her upstairs after she became woozy at his house in April 2003. She testified that she threw up, and Masterson put her in the shower to clean her off, according to the A.P. Afterward. She alleged that Masterson raped her, and then threatened her with a gun, the A.P. reported.
A second accuser, Christina B., testified on Wednesday that she was in a six-year relationship with Masterson when he raped her in November 2001, the A.P. reported. A third woman, identified in court as N. Trout, told the court that Masterson raped her in late 2003.
Masterson, 45, has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His attorney, Thomas Mesereau, has predicted that he will be exonerated once the case goes to trial.
Prosecutors charged Masterson last June, following an LAPD investigation that lasted more than three years.
Masterson is also facing a civil suit, which alleges that the Church of Scientology stalked and harassed his accusers in retaliation for going to the police. Masterson was working on the Netflix series “The Ranch” until he was dropped in December 2017, in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
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