Entertainment

Danny Masterson ordered to stand trial on three rape charges

That ’70s Show actor Danny Masterson will stand trial on three counts of rape (Picture: Rex/Getty)

That ’70s Show actor Danny Masterson has been ordered to stand trial on three counts of rape by a judge.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo made the order on Friday after the fourth day of a preliminary hearing, which saw the prosecution lay out its evidence.

The hearing included emotional testimony from three women who took the stand and alleged that Masterson raped them in 2001 and 2003.

The 45-year-old has pleaded not guilty to the charges of three counts of rape by force or fear.

His attorney, Thomas Mesereau, said that Masterson had consensual sex with the women and stated he would prove his client’s innocence.

During the hearing, Mesereau repeatedly challenged the women on discrepancies in their stories in the years since they said they were raped.

The actor has denied all the charges (Pictures: EPA)

He also suggested that the prosecution was tainted by anti-religious bias against the Church of Scientology.

Masterson is a practicing Scientologist, while all three women are former Scientologists, and the church’s teachings have featured often during testimonies so far.

The actor has been free on bail since his June arrest. He could get up to 45 years in prison if convicted.

A preliminary hearing saw three women give evidence before a judge decided there was enough evidence for a trial to go ahead (Picture: BACKGRID)

The star is accused of sexually assaulting a 23-year-old woman between January and December 2001, a 28-year-old woman in April 2003, and another 23-year-old woman between October and December of the same year, with the three alleged incidents occurring at Masterson’s Hollywood Hills home.

A lawyer for Masterson said at the time of the charges being made: ‘Mr. Masterson is innocent, and 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.

‘The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false.’

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MORE : Danny Masterson ‘blames Leah Remini for rape charges’ as he requests hearing delay


MORE : That ’70s Show star Danny Masterson pleads not guilty to three rape charges



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