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Actor Danny Masterson arrested, charged with 3 counts of rape

Actor Danny Masterson arrested, charged with 3 counts of rape
Actor Danny Masterson was released on a $3.3 million bail Wednesday after being arrested and charged with three counts of rape. Photo by Phil McCarten/UPI | License Photo

June 18 (UPI) -- Actor Danny Masterson has been arrested and charged with raping three women between 2001 and 2003, authorities said.

Masterson, 44, was charged Wednesday with three counts of rape by force of fear, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said in a statement.

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The actor best known for playing Steven Hyde in That '70s Show from 1998 to 2006 was arrested at around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday and was released on a $3.3 million bail hours later, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Prosecutors accuse Masterson of raping a 23-year-old woman in April 2003, a 23-year-old woman between January and December 2001 and a 28-year-old woman between October and December that same year.

Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller of the Sex Crimes Division said all of the alleged crimes occurred at Masterson's Hollywood Hills residence.

If convicted, Masterson faces a maximum sentence of 45 years to life in prison. He is to be arraigned on Sept. 18.

Masterson's attorney Tom Mesereau said his client was "innocent" in a statement to CNN, stating, "we're confident that we will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify."

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"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," Mesereau said. "The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false."

Masteron was fired from Netflix's The Ranch television show in late 2017 after four women accused him of sexual assault in separate incidents that go back to the early 2000s.

The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office said it declined to file charges in two other cases due to insufficient evidence in one and the statute of limitations in the other.

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