The rape case against former The Ranch star Danny Masterson is allowed to move forward, a judge has ruled. Variety reports that judge rejected an argument from the actor's legal team, who motioned that the accusations against Masterson are too old to be prosecuted. Masterson is currently free, after previously having posted a $3.3 million bail.
He has not yet entered a plea, but is set to appear in court for a rescheduled arraignment on Nov. 2. According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney website, the actor "has been charged with forcibly raping three women in separate incidents occurring between 2001 and 2003." The press release added that all of "the alleged crimes occurred" at Masterson's home and that if he is convicted, he "faces a possible maximum sentence of 45 years to life in state prison." Allegations of sexual assault emerged against Masterson many years ago, but after a police investigation, he was not charged. The allegations arose again while he was starring on The Ranch, leading Netflix to fire him.
Notably, Masterson still has his fair share of supporters, such as former Orange is the New Black actress Taryn Manning. In a social media comment, she wrote to Masterson and his wife Bijou Philips, saying, "Love you Danny and Bijou. I know who you are! Scorned lovers unite. They can't take your life away!"
1. There has been voluminous reporting on the allegations against Danny Masterson (I did some of it), so it is upsetting that @TarynManning has chosen to say this
To shame and attack alleged survivors of rape is disgusting
Danny has been formally charged with raping three women pic.twitter.com/aWsteX086c— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) October 19, 2020
Manning added, "I can't believe the level of hatred. As if [you're] any better at this point. Danny is awesome clearly or he wouldn't be getting crucified this way. Bye." Manning's position has drawn some criticisms from other social media users who disagree with her stance.
Following his Netflix firing, Masterson spoke out about the situation, saying, "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." He added, "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."