Danny Masterson Pleads Not Guilty to Rape Charges
Danny Masterson has pleaded not guilty after being charged with three counts of rape by force or fear last year.
ET has learned that the actor, through his counsel Tom Mesereau, pleaded not guilty in a Los Angeles court on Wednesday. Masterson, who is accused of raping a 23-year-old woman in 2001, a 28-year-old woman in April 2003, and a 23-year-old woman in late 2003, was not present in court.
The alleged crimes are claimed to have happened at his home in the Hollywood Hills. He has previously denied all allegations of rape and sexual assault that have been leveled against him. The District Attorney's office stated last June that if Masterson is convicted as charged, he could face a possible maximum sentence of 45 years in state prison.
In a statement to ET at the time, Mesereau said that Masterson is "innocent," adding that they're "confident that he will be exonerated."
"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 statement read. "The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false."
After he was charged, Masterson's accusers commended the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
"Since we were victimized and raped by Danny Masterson -- and knowing we are not the only victims -- all we have wanted was justice, accountability, and truth," the statement read. "Instead, we were subjected to continued harassment, embarrassment, and re-victimization by Masterson and the Church of Scientology, which has only worsened since they learned we were cooperating with authorities."
"We are thankful that the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office is finally seeking criminal justice against Masterson after a three-year investigation," the statement continued. "We are confident that the truth will be known and hope that the charges filed today are the first steps in this long journey of healing, justice, and holding those that victimized us accountable."
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