Actor Danny Masterson, finest regarded for his part in the hit series That ’70s Demonstrate, has appeared in courtroom accused of raping a few gals in the early 2000s.
He is charged with raping the gals, who ended up all in their 20s, involving 2001 and 2003.
Mr Masterson, forty four, denies the prices and has argued he was being persecuted for his high-profile membership of the Church of Scientology.
If convicted, the actor could face up to 45 several years in prison.
Cost-free on $3.3m (£2.5m) bail due to the fact his arrest in mid-June, Mr Masterson made his initial courtroom physical appearance more than the allegations in Los Angeles on Friday.
Although the actor did not enter a plea, his attorney, Tom Mesereau, mounted a vigorous defence of his client, dismissing the prices against him as politically enthusiastic.
The attorney accused Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey of filing the prices for political attain forward of a bid to keep her submit in a November election.
“There have been repeated makes an attempt to politicise this situation,” claimed Mr Mesereau, who also defended Michael Jackson against sexual misconduct allegations in a preceding situation. “He is unquestionably not guilty and we’re heading to confirm it.”
Ms Lacey is however to comment, but Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller dismissed Mr Mesereau allegations as “phony” and “pure speculation, with no basis in actuality”.
Friday’s courtroom hearing was attended by all a few of Mr Masterson’s accusers, whilst about 20 of the actor’s supporters stood outdoors the courtroom, unable to enter owing to coronavirus restrictions.
The allegations against Mr Masterson initial came to gentle in 2017, when the #MeToo motion that motivated gals to go public with misconduct allegations was gathering momentum.
Mr Masterson was eradicated from The Ranch – the Netflix comedy in which he starred – more than the allegations.
- Netflix writes accused actor out of The Ranch
At the time, Mr Masterson denied the “outrageous allegations” and vowed to apparent his identify “at the time and for all”.
“Of course, Mr Masterson and his wife are in finish shock taking into consideration that these practically 20-12 months-outdated allegations are suddenly resulting in prices being filed, but they and their relatives are comforted being aware of that in the long run the reality will come out,” his attorney Mr Mesereau claimed in a statement.
The prices came following a a few-12 months investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department. Prosecutors did not file prices in two other cases owing to insufficient evidence and the statute of limitations expiring.
Mr Masterson has been married to the actor and product Bijou Phillips due to the fact 2011.
That ’70s Demonstrate – which also starred Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis – ran from 1998 to 2006, gaining large intercontinental achievement.