Danny Masterson will face charges of rape, a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge ruled this morning.
In a masked and socially distanced hearing in DTLA, Judge Eleanor Hunter rejected the defense stance that the case against the former That 70s Show star should be tossed out under the statute of limitations. Represented by his lawyers Thomas Mesereau and Sharon Appelbaum, Masterson was not present at the hearing on Monday.
Accused back in June of three counts of forcible rape, Masterson is out on a $3.3 million bail. If convicted as charged on assaulting the three women, Masterson faces a possible maximum sentence of 45 years to life in state prison.
Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller of the Sex Crimes Division, who is prosecuting the case, said all of the alleged crimes occurred at the defendant’s Hollywood Hills’ home in 2001 and 2003
As agreed among the attorneys and LA County DA today, Masterson will be in court on November 2 for his arraignment.
At the time of the warrants this summer, Mesereau released a statement saying his client “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.”
In Monday’s hearing, Judge Hunter also rejected a move by the defense to keep the media out of the courtroom. Appelbaum argued without success that the presence of the press high profile case “creates an unfair prejudice for the defendant.” Prosecutors from Jackie Lacey’s office had “no objection” to media requests to be the courtroom.
Masterson was co-starring with former ’70s Show castmate Ashton Kutcher on Netflix’s The Ranch in December 2017 when news of the rape allegations initially surfaced, prompting his departure from the series.