That '70s Show's Danny Masterson denies sexual assault allegations from fellow Scientologists
Los Angeles, California - Actor Danny Masterson, famous for playing Steven Hyde on That '70s Show and starring in The Ranch on Netflix, has officially denied multiple rape allegations against him in court.
At Monday's hearing, the 45-year-old pled not guilty to sexual assault charges, CBS reported.
Masterson already entered a not-guilty plea in court once before, in January, after being arrested in June 2020.
The actor was forced to surrender his passport, but he remains free on $3.3 million bail to await trial.
The three alleged rape incidents are said to have occurred at Masterson's Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003, according to the indictment.
He faces 45 years to life in prison if found guilty.
At hearings in May, three women described detailed assaults by the actor, including allegations of being given cocktails with drugs, and an ex-girlfriend stating that she was forced to have non-consensual sex.
After the accounts, the court found there was sufficient evidence to proceed with a trial. A preliminary hearing is now set for August 9, with a full trial potentially beginning in November, according to Deadline.
Masterson was fired from his role on The Ranch and dropped by his agency after the allegations came to light.
The actor called the claims "outrageous" and said he looked forward to "clearing my name once and for all."
Masterson often posts Instagram tributes to his That '70s Show co-stars
Masterson and his accusers are Scientologists
Masterson and his accusers are longtime members of the Church of Scientology. The alleged victims say that they did not come forward sooner due to fear instilled by the church and worries that they would be isolated from their community.
Four of the women also filed a separate lawsuit against Masterson and the church in 2019, claiming that they were stalked and harassed by church members after accusing him of rape. They cited broken windows in their homes and the poisoning of family pets.
Five women first filed allegations against Masterson in 2017. After a years-long investigation, two of the incidents were found to have insufficient evidence, or passed the statute of limitations.
Masterson's defense attorney is celebrity lawyer Tom Mesereau, who successfully defended pop star Michael Jackson against child molestation allegations in 2005.
The star has been married to actress Bijou Phillips (41) since 2011, and the couple have a seven-year-old daughter named Fianna Francis.
Masterson rose to fame playing the beloved, always sunglass-wearing Steven Hyde on That '70s Show from 1998 to 2006.
Cover photo: Collage: Screenshot/Instagram/dannymasterson & IMAGO / MediaPunch