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"That '70s Show" actor Danny Masterson charged with raping three women

Danny Masterson fired

Actor Danny Masterson, best known for his role in "That '70s Show," has been charged with raping three women in separate incidents between 2001 and 2003, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said in a statement Wednesday. Masterson, 44, now faces three charges of rape by force or fear and will be arraigned on September 30.

Masterson is accused of raping a 23-year-old woman between January and December 2001, a 28-year-old woman in April 2003, and a 23-year-old woman between October and December 2003, the statement said, citing the criminal complaint. All of the alleged crimes occurred in his home, according to Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller of the Sex Crimes Division, who is prosecuting the case. 

If convicted, Masterson faces a possible maximum sentence of 45 years to life in state prison.

The district attorney's office said it declined to file sexual assault charges against the actor in two other cases, citing insufficient evidence in one case and the statute of limitations in the other.

In March of 2017, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that three women had accused Masterson of sexually assaulting them in the early 2000s. Later that year, Masterson was fired from the Netflix show "The Ranch."

At the time, Masterson denied the allegations: "Law enforcement investigated these claims more than 15 years ago and determined them to be without merit," he said. "I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, in the current climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused."

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