Actor Daniel Masterson has been charged with forcibly raping three women in separate incidents between 2001 and 2003, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said Wednesday.
Masterson, 44, has been charged with three counts of rape by force or fear. The crimes allegedly happened in his home.
Masterson denied the allegations in a statement when the investigation was made public in 2017.
Masterson's attorney Tom Mesereau said Wednesday his client “is innocent, we’re confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify.”
“Obviously, Mr. Masterson and his wife 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," Mesereau said in a statement. "The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false.”
Masterson has been married to actor and model Bijou Phillips since 2011.
According to the district attorney's office, he's accused of raping women in their 20s at his Hollywood Hills home.
The charges were filed Tuesday and Masterson was arrested late Wednesday morning, jail records showed. He was being held on $3.3 million bail.
Prosecutors declined to file charges in two other Masterson cases that police had investigated, one because of insufficient evidence and the other because the statute of limitations had expired.
Video: Masterson accused of sexual assault by multiple women
He had reunited with Ashton Kutcher, who also was a key part of retro sitcom "That ’70s Show," with the Netflix western sitcom “The Ranch” when the LAPD investigation of Masterson was revealed in March 2017. The news did not have immediate career repercussions for Masterson, but later in the year, after allegations against Harvey Weinstein shook Hollywood’s culture, he was written off the show.
Masterson decried the Hollywood atmosphere that led to his losing the job, and also suggested at the time that his high-profile membership in the Church of Scientology was leading to his persecution.
He said in a 2017 statement that “in the current climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused.”
Because police were already investigating him, Masterson’s case was not among those taken up by a task force formed by Lacey, the Los Angeles County district attorney, to investigate sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry. That task force has declined to file charges in more than 20 cases in the two years of its existence, charging only Weinstein himself.
He's scheduled for a Sept. 18 arraignment.