'That 70s Show' Star Danny Masterson Charged With Raping 3 Women

by Christina Marfice
'That 70's Show's' Danny Masterson Charged With Raping 3 Women
Anna Webber/Getty

Nearly 20 years after allegations started swirling, That 70s Show actor Danny Masterson has been charged with raping three different women

Despite years of allegations from multiple different women (and being fired from his Netflix show The Ranch because of the accusations), Danny Masterson escaped being charged with rape for nearly 20 years. That finally changed today, when the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office announced he has been charged with raping three different women in the early 2000s. Finally, more long-overdue justice is being served in Hollywood.

The charges accused Masterson of raping a 23-year-old woman and a 28-year-old woman in 2003, and a 23-year-old woman in 2001. All of the alleged rapes took place at his home. He’s been charged with three counts of rape by force or fear, and faces a maximum sentence of 45 years to life in prison if he’s convicted.

The allegations against Masterson are not new. He was fired from The Ranch in 2017 because of them, and four women who accuse Masterson of raping them filed a lawsuit against him last year, in which they said they were harassed and pressured to keep quiet by members of the Church of Scientology, to which Masterson belongs. The women said in their lawsuit that people associated with the church stalked and threatened them, stole their trash, and took photos and videos of them and their family members through the windows of their homes.

In a statement, Masterson’s lawyer said that the 44-year-old actor and his wife are “in complete shock” at the reemergence of “nearly 20-year-old allegations.”

“The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false,” the statement reads.

But we’ve heard that one before. Every time a powerful man is accused of rape (and there have been so, so many of them in recent years), he points to his character — that the people who know him know he would never commit such an act. And yet, some of the most powerful men in Hollywood, from Bill Cosby to Harvey Weinstein, have been proven in court to be liars and rapists.

The five women who have accused Masterson know him, and they say he raped them. Two of them won’t see justice after prosecutors declined to pursue their cases — one for a lack of evidence and one because the statute of limitations had run out. But for the other three? Their day in court is coming. Masterson is set to be arraigned on Sept. 18.