Actor Danny Masterson, best known for his role on “That ’70s Show,” was charged with three counts of rape, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced Wednesday.
Masterson was arrested at 11:30 a.m. PT on Wednesday and released shortly before 3 p.m. PT on a $3.3 million bail, according to information available on the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department website.
Masterson is charged with forcibly raping three women in separate incidents occurring between 2001 and 2003, a press release from the District Attorney’s Office said.
His arraignment is scheduled for September 18.
In a statement to CNN, Masterson’s attorney Tom Mesereau said: “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.”
The statement added: “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.”
Authorities say Masterson, who is charged by his full name Daniel Peter Masterson, is accused of raping a 23-year-old woman between January and December 2001. He also allegedly raped a 28-year-old woman in April 2003 and a 23-year-old woman sometime between October and December of that year, according to the press release.
All of the alleged crimes took place at Masterson’s Hollywood Hills home, authorities said.
Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller of the Sex Crimes Division is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Masterson faces a possible sentence of up to 45 years to life in state prison.
The press release from District Attorney’s Office said the office declined to file sexual assault charges against Masterson in two other cases, “one for insufficient evidence and the other based upon the statute of limitations for the crime alleged.”
Who is Danny Masterson?
Masterson is best known for his role as Steven Hyde on the period teen sitcom “That ’70s Show,” which aired for eight seasons on the Fox network from 1998-2006.
His character was the sarcastic best friend of Topher Grace’s Eric Forman.
The show also starred Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Laura Prepon and Wilmer Valderrama.
Masterson would co-star with Kutcher again on Netflix’s “The Ranch.” He also had roles on TBS’s “Men at Work” and other bit parts following his run on “That ’70s Show.” (TBS, like CNN, is owned by WarnerMedia.)
In 2017, Netflix and producers of “The Ranch” wrote Masterson off the show amid rape allegations.
At the time, Masterson said he was “obviously very disappointed” by the decision, in a statement to CNN.
“From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me. Law enforcement investigated these claims more than 15 years ago and determined them to be without merit,” Masterson’s statement said in the 2017 statement. “I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, in the current climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused.”
CNN has not spoken to any of Masterson’s accusers.