That 70s Show actor Danny Masterson, charged with raping three girls, made his first look Friday in a Los Angeles courtroom, the place his legal professional declared his innocence and denounced the fees towards him as politicized.
- Associated Press
- Last Updated: September 19, 2020, 2:16 AM IST
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LOS ANGELES: That 70s Show actor Danny Masterson, charged with raping three girls, made his first look Friday in a Los Angeles courtroom, the place his legal professional declared his innocence and denounced the fees towards him as politicized.
Masterson, 44, who has been free on bail since his June arrest, stood in courtroom in a blue swimsuit and face masks subsequent to attorneys Tom Mesereau and Sharon Appelbaum, because the three girls sat within the gallery.
Masterson didn’t enter a plea, however Mesereau mentioned the fees, based mostly on occasions almost 20 years outdated, had been the results of unfair hype from media retailers and stress to prosecute his consumer as Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey faces an election.
There have been repeated makes an attempt to politicize this case, mentioned Mesereau, who additionally represented Bill Cosby and Michael Jackson of their sexual misconduct circumstances. He is totally not responsible and we’re going to show it.
Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller referred to as the statements pure hypothesis, with no foundation in reality.
Mesereau spoke because the decide was contemplating media requests to permit media cameras in courtroom, which he accredited.
Mesereau argued that the media presence can be unfairly prejudicial to Masterson and taint potential jurors.
We need to do something we will to tone down the cameras and the circus-like ambiance which have pervaded this case,” the legal professional mentioned. We’re simply making an attempt to guard his rights.
Superior Court Judge Miguel T. Espinoza additionally denied a request from the protection for a protecting order sealing case recordsdata and stopping police, prosecutors and potential witnesses from revealing case info to the media, however mentioned he would rethink related request later.
The protection has filed paperwork asking the felony criticism towards Masterson be thrown out as inadequate. A listening to on the problem will probably be held earlier than Masterson is requested to enter a plea.
Mastersons arrest got here after a three-year investigation that resulted within the uncommon prosecution of a well-known Hollywood determine within the #MeToo period. Despite dozens of investigations, most have led to no prices based mostly on lack of proof or an excessive amount of time passing.
About 20 pals and supporters accompanied Masterson to courtroom, standing within the courthouse corridor with him as he awaited the listening to, however just a few had been allowed contained in the courtroom due to coronavirus distancing necessities.
He spoke solely to reply sure to the decide’s questions.
Masterson is charged with three counts of rape by pressure or concern. Prosecutors allege that he raped a 23-year-old lady someday in 2001, a 28-year-old lady in April of 2003, and a 23-year-old lady between October and December of 2003. Prosecutors mentioned all the alleged assaults occurred in his house.
He may resist 45 years in jail if convicted.
Neither Masterson and his attorneys nor the three girls spoke to reporters outdoors of courtroom.
The girls, who are usually not named within the charging paperwork mentioned in a press release by means of their attorneys when Masterson was arrested that that they had suffered harassment, embarrassment and re-victimization since they started cooperating with authorities and that they’re grateful that the Los Angeles County District Attorneys workplace is lastly looking for felony justice.
The alleged rapes got here on the top of Mastersons fame as he starred as Steven Hyde on the ensemble retro sitcom That 70s Show alongside Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Topher Grace. The collection ran on Fox TV from 1998 to 2006 and has had a protracted afterlife in reruns.
He was faraway from the Netflix present The Ranch in 2017 over the allegations that might ultimately result in the fees.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton.