Just days before he was charged with forcibly raping three women, former The Ranch star Danny Masterson was spending some quality time with his family. In a June 12 dated photo shared with his followers on Instagram, just five days before his arrest, Masterson and his wife Bijou Phillips celebrated daughter Fianna Francis' kindergarten graduation. Captioning the photo, which showed all three of them smiling for the camera, Masterson wrote, "And in other news... picture wrap on kindergarten!"
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Shortly after that celebration, Masterson would face criminal charges in connection to sexual assault allegations that have loomed over him for years. On Wednesday, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey formally announced that Masterson was charged with three counts of rape by force or fear. The charges were related to separate incidents occurring between 2001 and 2003. Charged by his full name Daniel Peter Masterson, authorities accused the That '70s Show actor of raping a 23-year-old woman between January and December 2001, a 28-year-old woman in April 2003 and another 23-year-old woman between October and December 2003. Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller of the Sex Crimes Division said that all three of the alleged crimes occurred at Masterson's Hollywood Hills home.
In a joint statement, Masterson's accusers said that they were "thankful that the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office is finally seeking criminal justice against Masterson after a three-year investigation." The women said that they "are confident that the truth will be known and hope that the charges filed today are the first steps in this long journey of healing, justice and holding those that victimized us accountable."
Responding to the charges, Masteron's criminal defense attorney, Tom Mesereau, said that his client "is innocent, and we’re confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify." Meserau added both Maserson and his wife "are in complete shock considering that these nearly 20-year old allegations are suddenly resulting in charges being filed, but they and their family are comforted knowing that ultimately the truth will come out."
Masterson was arrested at 11:30 a.m. PT on Wednesday and released just before 3 p.m. PT on a $3.3 million bail. His arraignment is scheduled for September 18. If convicted on all charges, he faces a possible sentence of up to 45 years to life in state prison.