Significant shifts have happened in former The Ranch star Danny Masterson's rape case, and it involves Leah Remini. According to TMZ, Masterson has filed a request for more time to prepare his defense, citing a claim that Remini has been attempting to influence the prosecution against him out of "religious bigotry." Masterson is a member of the Church of Scientology, which Remini has been an outspoken critic of since she left the controversial religious organization.
According to the court documents, Masterson alleges that Remini urged the three anonymous women to come forward with unfounded allegations against him. He claims that the first woman made allegations about him years ago, and that the other two did not do so until after he had a public spat with Remini in 2016, over her persistent verbal assault on Scientology. Masterson also alleges that Remini spoke for the woman during their interviews with the prosecutors. Finally, he argues that the prosecutor's office has been "starstruck" by Remini and therefore has allowed her to be more involved with the case than she should be.
The new charges against Masterson came down in June 2020, with the star being arrested, processed, and eventually released on bail. 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."
Sexual assault allegations against Masterson emerged 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. Following his firing, Masterson spoke out, saying, "From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me."
He continued, "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." Masterson then concluded his statement, "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."