16:36, February 14 131 0 usmagazine.com

2018-02-14 16:36:05

 

Danny Masterson Allegations Are ‘Heinous,’ But DA’s Office Is Not Ready to Press Charges

Despite “heinous” sexual misconduct allegations against Danny Masterson, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office is not ready to press charges against the  41-year-old actor, a source in the DA’s office exclusively tells Us Weekly

 “Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey has asked the deputy district attorney Reinhold Mueller, handling the Danny Masterson rape investigation, for further investigation after the case was formally presented to her almost three months ago,” the source explains. “This case is being taken very seriously, and does have top priority within the sex crimes division of the office. Not because of Mr. Masterson’s celebrity status, but because of the heinous allegations by the alleged victims.”

 “At this point, and it’s very far in the process, charges that would carry a life sentence aren’t being discussed,” the source continues. “In fact, it’s not even on the table. There just isn’t enough there at this point to go down that road. Now, that could happen because Jackie Lacey requested further investigation into questions she had, and concerns that needed to be addressed.” 

As previously reported, Masterson has been accused of sexual misconduct by five different women. The most recent allegation was made in December 2017 by his ex-girlfriend, Bobbette Riales. He has been under investigation by the L.A. DA’s office since March 2017, when four women claimed he raped them. 

“There is frustration within the DA’s office because Mueller is confident enough with the case that he believes a conviction would be likely, but is being asked to get additional information, which is only taking longer,” the source adds. “This is a high-profile case, and it needs to be airtight before any decision is made about charging Danny Masterson.”

The actor’s lawyer, Tom Mesereau, declined to comment.

In December, the That ‘70s Show alum was fired from his Netflix show The Ranch. He has denied all of the allegations against him. 

“I am obviously very disappointed in Netflix’s decision to write my character off of The Ranch. From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me. Law enforcement investigated these claims more than 15 years ago and determined them to be without merit,” Masterson told Us Weekly in a statement on December 5. “I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. 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. I understand and look forward to clearing my name once and for all. In the meantime, I want to express my gratitude to the cast and crew that I’ve worked so closely with over the past three seasons. I wish them nothing but success. I am also so thankful to the fans that have supported me and continue to do so.” 

Reporting by Jennifer Heger

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