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Popular That ‘70’s Show Actor Pleads Not Guilty While Not Even Present

It always seems to devastate the masses and fandoms when allegations of some pretty horrific crimes are exposed in relation to esteemed actors and musicians. One that many were not expecting was that of popular That ‘70’s Show actor—famous for his sarcastic and charismatic role as Steven Hyde—Danny Masterson. Fans of the ‘90s and early 2000s hit retro sitcom were left in a state of shock when three allegations of rape flooded the public against Masterson in June of 2020. These assaults were alleged to have taken place in the early 2000s—a woman 23 years of age in 2001, another being 28 in April of 2003, and lastly, another 23-year-old woman who was assaulted by Masterson on two separate occasions also in 2003. What many don’t know was there were originally five accounts of alleged assault, but two were dismissed—one due to “insufficient evidence," and the other because of the statute of limitations.

When allegations came to rise, a three-year investigation ensued, however, no charges were dropped due to either lack of evidence, or the length of time elapsed from the event of the crime and the time allegations were brought to light. 

Ultimately Masterson was arrested and charged and is currently out on a substantial $3.3 million bail bond. However, it was recently reported that the actor’s lawyer Tom Mesereau has pled not guilty on his behalf—as Masterson was not present in the courtroom this past Wednesday, Jan. 21—and remains confident that Masterson will be exonerated. In fact, in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Mesereau emphasizes the state of shock Masterson and his family were found in when allegations of rape were reported nearly 20 years later, and that those who knew him at the height of his career—when the raped were to have taken place—would attest to his good character.

[bf_image id="q6fhg5-4p2kig-5uwjt"] In cases like these, fans typically find themselves torn between trusting the allegations of women taken advantage of by men of power, and the admiration they have for the characters these men portray on television. However, many are discouraged the truth may not come to light as similar cases today are swept under the rug leaving victims with no justice of their own.

Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declared that Danny Masterson will be going to trial on Nov. 2, 2021, where he will face up to 45 years in prison if convicted. As it stands, the press will remain present to cover this case despite attempts to keep them from the courtroom under the assumption that their presence would create “an unfair prejudice for the defendant”—so says another one of Masterson’s attorneys, Sharon Appelbaum. 

What will come of Danny Masterson? No matter if he is convicted or not, one thing remains certain: due to the United States’ Justice System and the faults it has made in cases like this historically, even if Masterson is found not guilty, he definitely lost a lot of fans.

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I am currently a second-year student at Florida State University studying English Education. I grew up in San Diego, CA for a few years before finishing high school on a small island on the eastern shore of Maryland called Kent Island. I enjoy reading, painting, music, and of course writing!
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