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Judge Orders Danny Masterson to Stand Trial on 3 Rape Charges

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Warning: This post discusses rape.

Update, May 24th, 2021: Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo ordered on Friday for Danny Masterson to stand trial on three rape charges, by force or fear. For three days last week, according to CBS, Masterson's accusers delivered graphic testimony in court, which Judge Olmedo found sufficient for trial.

Masterson is currently free on $3.3 million bond and faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted. He is due back in court on June 7th.

Update, May 19th, 2021: After being officially charged with three counts of rape in June 2020, Danny Masterson is finally in court. On May 18th, the women who accused Masterson of rape in the early 2000s began their testimony in a Los Angeles courtroom, according to AP. The first woman to testify claimed Masterson drugged her and raped her while she was unconscious.

According to AP, she went on to detail a terrifying night, alleging that she was too weak to defend herself and accusing Masterson of putting her in the shower, washing her inappropriately, and eventually pulling a gun on her.

She added that her church—Scientology, like Masterson's—had dissuaded her from speaking out on the allegations right away, which is why she waited.

The hearing is expected to continue while the court decides if Masterson should stand trial for the accusations. Though the That '70s Show star hasn't said anything this week on the matter, he shared a rather distasteful Instagram of himself on his way to court on May 18th.

He faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted.

Original post, June 18th, 2020: After an initial investigation stalled in 2017, actor Danny Masterson has officially been charged with three counts of rape, in three separate incidents from the early 2000s. He was arrested in Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 17th, and, if convicted, he faces up to 45 years to life in prison for his alleged crimes against women, according to a CNN report.

Masterson is charged with raping a 28-year-old woman in April 2003, a 23-year-old woman in 2003, and a 23-year-old woman in 2001. CNN reports that there were an additional two rape cases involving the That '70s Show actor, but one was dropped after the statute of limitations had passed and the other because there was "insufficient evidence" to follow through on the charge. Masterson allegedly committed all three forcible rapes in his home in the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, according to authorities in the CNN report.

In late 2017, five women came forward to accuse Masterson of rape, and four of those women sued the actor, the Church of Scientology (of which Masterson is a member), and Scientology leader David Miscavige for stalking them after they made their allegations. According to a report by Tony Ortega of The Village Voice in 2017, at least three of the women claimed they were "pressured to be quiet by the Church of Scientology," of which they were also members.

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After women came forward with rape and sexual assault allegations and an online petition went viral calling for Masterson's removal, Netflix fired him from The Ranch.

Now, the actor's arraignment is scheduled for September 18th.

If you are a sexual assault survivor and need help, you can call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to speak to a trained counselor. You can also chat online with a counselor here. Both services are available 24/7.