Following a preliminary hearing in May where a judge ruled that the trial against actor Danny Masterson (That ’70s Show) should proceed on the charges of raping three women between 2001 and 2003, a Los Angeles judge on Tuesday rejected a request by the actor to have his charges dismissed, according to ABC7. Judge Ronald S. Coen said there was an elaborate amount of evidence to allow the case to continue.
The case alleges that Masterson, 45, allegedly raped a 23-year-old woman between January and December 2001, alongside allegedly raping a 28-year-old woman and a 23-year-old woman between October and December 2003. Masterson’s lawyers argued that two of the women had consenual sex with Masterson, while also arguing that the alleged rape of the third woman – Masterson’s ex-girlfriend, Chrissie Bixler – never occurred.
The actor was arrested in June 2021, and remains free on $3.3 million bail. However, he will return to court May 31 for a hearing on pretrial motions. Masterson, who has been charged with three counts of rape by force or fear, has since been fired from the Emmy-winning comedy The Ranch amid these allegations. If convicted, Masterson could spend a maximum of 45 years to life in state prison.