Danny Masterson, an American actor best known for his role in the sitcom That 70s Show, has been charged with raping three women who were in their 20s at the time of the alleged incidents, which took place between 2001 and 2003. The accusations against Masterson were made in 2017, during the MeToo movement, and as a result of the accusations, Masterson was written out of the Netflix show The Ranch. Masterson has denied the charges, saying he is being persecuted for his membership of the Church of Scientology. The Church of Scientology has denied any involvement in or knowledge of the alleged rapes. If convicted, Masterson could face 45 years to life in prison.
A jury in Los Angeles has failed to reach a verdict in Masterson’s rape case. The office of the Los Angeles County District Attorney said it is considering its next steps in the case. A retrial has been scheduled for March. Deliberations in the case began in mid-November, but soon reached a deadlock. Two of the women involved in the case alleged that the Church of Scientology discouraged them from reporting the alleged rapes.
The charges against Masterson came after a three-year investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department. Prosecutors did not file charges in two other cases because of insufficient evidence and the statute of limitations expiring. Masterson played the role of Steven Hyde in That 70s Show between 1998 and 2006.