It’s not looking good for Danny Masterson.
On Friday, a judge ordered the former That ’70s Show actor to stand charges on three counts of rape by force or fear.
Masterson’s attorney, Thomas Mesereau, had hoped to circumvent charges by asserting that Masterson did have sex with his three accusers, but it was consensual.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo made her judgment after a four-day preliminary hearing.
It was a dramatic and emotional four days for the three women who have accused Masterson of rape between the years 2001 and 2003.
Judge Olmedo allowed that preliminary hearing based on the women’s credible testimony.
Masterson, a prominent Scientologist, has denied all charges.
The three women, took are Scientologists, and their assertion is that church teachings kept them from reporting Masterson for rape for years.
As noted in The Hollywood Reporter, it’s rare for these cases to go to trial, despite the #MeToo era’s increased spotlight shining on many in the industry that disrespected women, instigating dozens of investigations into questionable behavior.
While Masterson isn’t a high-level celebrity, the rapes allegedly occurred when he was practically a household name, appearing on one of the most successful sitcoms of its time.
As Steven Hyde, Masterson starred alongside Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and Topher Grace.
Masterson and Kutcher reunited on The Ranch on Netflix, but after the accusations simmered for years without affecting the actor, he was written off the show which was subsequently canceled.
Many other celebrities are currently facing accusations, including Kevin Spacey and, most recently, Armie Hammer.
Whether Masterson’s looming trial speaks to the general changing atmosphere against rape and women as victims remains to be seen.
There are others who have faced trials for similar charges, including Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby.
They discovered that their fame and fortune did little for them when they were forced to face the music for their actions.
A date has not been set for Masterson’s trial at this time, and his attorney had no comment after the ruling.
If convicted, Masteron faces up to 45 years in prison.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.
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