LOS ANGELES –“That’70s Show” actor Danny Masterson, charged with raping three girls, made his initial appearance Friday at a Los Angeles court, in which his lawyer announced his innocence and denounced the charges against him as”politicized.”
Masterson, 44, that has been free on bond since his June arrest, stood in a blue suit and face mask alongside lawyers Tom Mesereau and Sharon Appelbaum, since the three girls sat at the gallery.
Masterson didn’t enter a plea, however, Mesereau said the fees, according to events almost 20 years old, had been the consequence of unfair hatred from media outlets and strain to prosecute his customer as Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey faces an election.
“There were repeated efforts to politicize this circumstance,” said Mesereau, who also represented Bill Cosby and Michael Jackson in their sexual misconduct cases. “He’s completely not guilty and we are going to establish it”
Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller called the statements”pure speculation, without a foundation in reality”
Mesereau talked as the judge was contemplating media asks to permit media cameras in the courtroom, which he accepted.
Mesereau argued that the press existence could be prejudicial to Masterson and taint potential jurors.
“We wish to do anything that we could to tone down the cameras and the circus-like air which have pervaded this instance,” the lawyer said. “We are only trying to protect his rights”
Superior Court Judge Miguel T. Espinoza also denied a petition from the defense to get a protective order sealing case documents and preventing authorities, prosecutors, and possible witnesses from showing case information into the press, but stated he’d reconsider similar petition afterward.
The shield has filed files requesting that the criminal complaint against Masterson be thrown out too inadequate. A hearing on the matter is going to be held until Masterson is requested to enter a plea.
Masterson’s arrest came following a three-year investigation that caused the rare prosecution of a renowned Hollywood figure at the #MeToo era. Despite lots of investigations, many have resulted in no fees predicated on lack of signs or an excessive amount of time passing.
Approximately 20 friends and fans followed Masterson to the courtroom, standing at the courthouse hall together with him as he expected that the hearing, but just a couple were permitted in the court due to coronavirus distancing requirements.
Prosecutors allege he raped a 23-year-old girl sometime in 2001, a 28-year-old girl in April of 2003, along with a 23-year-old girl between October and December of 2003. Prosecutors said all the alleged attacks occurred in his property.
Neither Masterson and his lawyers nor the 3 girls talked to reporters outside court.
The girls, who aren’t called in the charging documents said in a statement through their lawyers when Masterson was detained they had endured”harassment, humiliation and re-victimization” because they started cooperating with police and they are”thankful the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office is eventually seeking criminal justice”
The alleged rapes came in the height of Masterson’s fame since he surfaced as Steven Hyde about the outfit retro sitcom”That’70s Show” along with Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and Topher Grace.
He had been eliminated from the Netflix series”The Ranch” in 2017 within the allegations that could finally lead to the fees.