After a failed attempt to get his sexual assault case dismissed, Danny Masterson has pleaded not guilty to multiple rape charges.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 44-year-old actor's attorney entered the plea Wednesday, about seven months after he was formally charged with three counts of sexual assault. Masterson, best known for his role on That '70s Show, is accused of raping a 23-year-old woman between January and December of 2001; a 28-year-old woman in April 2003; and a 23-year-old woman sometime between October and December in 2003. The alleged rapes all took place at the actor's Los Angeles-area home.
Masterson's attorney, Tom Mesereau, reportedly argued that his client was being unfairly treated by the media and that the charges were a result of political pressure. He also claimed his legal team had evidence to support Masterson's innocence.
Shortly after the charges were announced, Masterson was booted from his show The Ranch, which he addressed in a statement to Entertainment Weekly.
"I am obviously very disappointed in Netflix's decision to write my character off of The Ranch," he said before denying the allegations. "From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me. Law enforcement investigated these claims more than 15 years ago and determined them to be without merit. I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, in the current climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused. I understand and look forward to clearing my name once and for all."
Masterson, who is out on $3.3 million bail, is due back in court on March 23. He faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted.