Danny Masterson, best known for his role as Stephen Hyde in “That 70s Show” was charged with raping three women in the early 2000’s Wednesday after a three-year investigation.
According to a statement released by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, Masterson is accused of raping a 23-year-old woman between January and December 2001. Another charge is that he raped a 28-year-old woman in 2003 between October and December, and “The Ranch” actor is accused of raping a third woman that same year at his home in Hollywood Hills.
The women who made the charges released a statement saying that they are grateful for the arrest of Masterson, who is married to Bijou Phillips, but that they suffered humiliation and harassment at the hands of the Church of Scientology since coming forward with their accusations.
Masterson was born into the Church of Scientology and has remained a lifelong member.
The statement said:
Since we were victimized and raped by Danny Masterson —and knowing we are not the only victims — all we have wanted was justice, accountability and the truth.
Instead, we were subjected to continued harassment, embarrassment, and re-victimization by Masterson and the Church of Scientology, which has only worsened since they learned we were cooperating with authorities.
We are thankful that the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office is finally seeking criminal justice against Masterson after a three-year investigation.
We 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.
Masterson Maintains his Innocence & Has Hired the Attorney Who Represented Michael Jackson and Bill Cosby in Their Sexual Assault Cases
Masterson’s attorney is Tom Mesereau, known for his success in arguing high-profile sexual assault cases and representing celebrities. In a statement, Mesereau says he is confident Masterson will be “exonerated when all the evidence comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify…The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false.”
Mesereau has represented many defendants accused of sex crimes, including Bill Cosby, which he lost, and his most infamous victory in the Micheal Jackson in which Jackson was acquitted of all 14 child molestation charges he was accused of.
According to Mesereau’s website, he also won sexual assault cases for a plastic surgeon, a truck driver, a football player, a swim instructor and a firefighter. Mesereau has also won many murder and fraud trials.
One Woman Who Says Masterson Raped Her Claims She Woke up to Him Having Sex With Her & He Choked Her Until she Passed Out
According to an affidavit filed on June 6, 2004, a woman filed a rape report with the Los Angeles Police Department claiming that Masterson had raped her on April 25th, 2003. According to the police report, “The victim woke up while the suspect was having sex with her and she struggled with him. The suspect choked the victim until she passed out.”
Alleged victim Chrissie Carnell Bixler sent a lengthy statement to the Daily Beast in 2017 when the investigations started. She told The Daily Beast that she “can no longer be silent. The only way to protect ourselves is to speak.”
In part, her statement accuses the Church of Scientology of diminishing her accusations when she reported the alleged rape within their organization. According to Bixler, a direct quote from the Church was, “Danny Masterson is a celebrity. He flourishes and prospers in life. You protect that and reward that.”
Bixler said her feeling from the church was that “I don’t matter. The other women don’t matter. Our pain means nothing, and we should be good little girls and shut our mouths. No! I’m going to be an amazing woman who will NOT shut my mouth when I find out my rapist raped countless other women.”
The church responded to Bixler’s accusations telling the Daily Beast:
The Church adamantly denies (1) that when Chrissie Carnell [Bixler] came to the Church regarding the relationship she made any criminal allegations (2) that a Church representative made the statement contained in your article and (3) the implication the Church would ignore the criminal behavior of certain members, especially at the expense of alleged victims. The Church follows all laws and cooperates with law enforcement. Any statement or implication to the contrary is false.
In Masterson’s bio on the Church of Scientology website he says, “I have to say that one of the most important things Scientology has given me is the ability to keep my integrity together. I understand how people can get into unethical situations, and Scientology has always helped me keep my head clear and be in present time. I have been able to see situations for what they are.”
According to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Masterson was released on $3.3 million bond the same day he was arrested.