The women who have filed a civil lawsuit against the actor Danny Masterson have said they are “thankful” that the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has “finally” filed criminal rape charges against Masterson.
“We are thankful that the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office is finally seeking criminal justice against Masterson after a three-year investigation,” the statement released on behalf of the women said. “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.”
The women also said in their statement that they have been “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.”
“All we have wanted was justice, accountability, and truth,” the women’s statement said.
Tom Mesereau, an attorney for Masterson, told TheWrap on Wednesday that Masterson was “innocent” and that they were “confident he would be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light.”
“Obviously, Mr. Masterson and his wife are in complete shock considering that these nearly 20-year old allegations are suddenly resulting in charges being filed, but they and their family are comforted knowing that ultimately the truth will come out. The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false,” Mesereau said.
Karin Pouw, a spokesperson for the Church of Scientology, told TheWrap on Thursday that the plaintiffs’ allegations were “categorically untrue.”
“Plaintiffs’ counsel has not provided us with a single scrap of paper or any other evidence supporting the claims of harassment presented in the lawsuit,” Pouw said. “As throughout this process, the Church remains steadfast that the allegations against it are completely and utterly false. The Church will prevail against these slanderous charges.”
The civil lawsuit’s plaintiffs include Chrissie Bixler, Marie Bobette Riales — both of whom previously dated Masterson — and two anonymous Jane Does. An attorney for the women confirmed to TheWrap that three of the women in the criminal case are also three of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles DA’s office charged Masterson with three counts of forcible rape for incidents occurring in 2001 and 2003. If convicted of the charges, he faces up to 45 years to life in prison. The actor’s bail was set at $3.3 million.