Danny Masterson, widely known for portraying Steven Hyde on That ’70s Show, has been charged with three counts of sexual assault stemming from incidents between 2001 and 2003, according to new court docs obtained by In Touch.
The case was filed for warrant on June 16 and the 44-year-old actor’s arraignment is scheduled for September 18 at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.
Amid the allegations and charges against him, the star’s criminal attorney, Tom Mesereau, released a statement to In Touch denying any wrongdoing. “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,” Mesereau wrote about his client.
“Obviously, 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 people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false,” the criminal attorney added.
According to the criminal complaint, Masterson has been accused of sexually assaulting three women “by force or fear,” and all of the alleged crimes are believed to have occurred at the defendant’s Hollywood Hills home.
The performer was arrested at about 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 17, in the 100 block of North Los Angeles Street in Downtown L.A., according to LAPD spokeswoman Officer Rosario Cervantes. Masterson was booked at the LAPD Metropolitan Detention Center at about 12:15 p.m. and was later released on $3.3 million bail.
If convicted as charged, Masterson faces “a possible maximum sentence of 45 years to life in state prison.”
According to the court docs, two other cases were brought up to the District Attorney’s Office, but they declined to file sexual assault charges due to insufficient evidence on one, and “the statute of limitations” on the other.
This isn’t the first time the actor found himself in hot water. In 2019, a lawsuit was filed against him as well as the Church of Scientology and it’s founder David Miscavige. Four women claimed the religious institution and its leader tried to conceal Masterson’s sexual misconduct.
The women alleged the group “systemically stalked, harassed, invaded their and their family’s privacy, and intentionally caused them emotional distress to silence and intimidate them,” but Masterson denied the claims and called it “ridiculous.” As of now, the case remains under investigation.
If you or anyone you know has been sexually abused, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). A trained staff member will provide confidential, judgment-free support as well as local resources to assist in healing, recovering and more.