Actor Masterson's lawyer denies and denounces rape charges

Actor Danny Masterson’s lawyer says his shopper is “completely no longer responsible” of the 3 rape fees towards him, and calls the case “politicized.”

LOS ANGELES — “That ’70s Display” actor Danny Masterson, charged with raping 3 ladies, made his first look Friday in a Los Angeles court, the place his lawyer declared his innocence and denounced the fees towards him as “politicized.”

Masterson, 44, who has been unfastened on bail since his June arrest, stood in courtroom in a blue swimsuit and face masks subsequent to lawyers Tom Mesereau and Sharon Appelbaum, as the 3 ladies sat within the gallery.

Masterson didn’t input a plea, however Mesereau mentioned the fees, in accordance with occasions just about 20 years previous, have been the results of unfair hype from media retailers and drive to prosecute his shopper as Los Angeles County District Legal professional Jackie Lacey faces an election.

“There were repeated makes an attempt to politicize this example,” mentioned Mesereau, who additionally represented Invoice Cosby and Michael Jackson of their sexual misconduct circumstances. “He’s completely no longer responsible and we are going to end up it.”

Deputy District Legal professional Reinhold Mueller referred to as the statements “natural hypothesis, with out a foundation actually.”

Mesereau spoke because the pass judgement on used to be taking into account media requests to permit media cameras in courtroom, which he licensed.

Mesereau argued that the media presence can be unfairly prejudicial to Masterson and taint doable jurors.

“We wish to do anything else we will to tone down the cameras and the circus-like surroundings that experience pervaded this example,” the lawyer mentioned. “We are simply attempting to offer protection to his rights.”

Awesome Court docket Pass judgement on Miguel T. Espinoza additionally denied a request from the protection for a protecting order sealing case information and combating police, prosecutors and doable witnesses from revealing case knowledge to the media, however mentioned he would rethink an identical request later.

The protection has filed paperwork asking the legal criticism towards Masterson be thrown out as inadequate. A listening to at the factor can be held ahead of Masterson is requested to go into a plea.

Masterson’s arrest got here after a three-year investigation that resulted within the uncommon prosecution of a well-known Hollywood determine within the #MeToo technology. Regardless of dozens of investigations, maximum have resulted in no fees in accordance with loss of proof or an excessive amount of time passing.

About 20 pals and supporters accompanied Masterson to courtroom, status within the courthouse corridor with him as he awaited the listening to, however only some have been allowed within the court as a result of coronavirus distancing necessities.

He spoke simplest to reply to “sure” to the pass judgement on’s questions.

Masterson is charged with 3 counts of rape through pressure or worry. 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 took place in his house.

He may just resist 45 years in jail if convicted.

Neither Masterson and his lawyers nor the 3 ladies spoke to newshounds out of doors of courtroom.

The ladies, who don’t seem to be named within the charging paperwork mentioned in a commentary thru their lawyers when Masterson used to be arrested that that they had suffered “harassment, embarrassment and re-victimization” since they started cooperating with government and that they’re “grateful that the Los Angeles County District Legal professional’s workplace is in spite of everything in the hunt for legal justice.”

The alleged rapes got here on the peak of Masterson’s status as he starred as Steven Hyde at the ensemble unfashionable sitcom “That ’70s Display” along Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Topher Grace. The sequence ran on Fox TV from 1998 to 2006 and has had an extended afterlife in reruns.

He used to be got rid of from the Netflix display “The Ranch” in 2017 over the allegations that might sooner or later result in the fees.

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Apply AP Leisure Author Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton.

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