AceShowbiz - Danny Masterson will stand trial on rape charges after a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge rejected his lawyers' request to dismiss the case.
Judge Eleanor Hunter ruled the complaint was still within the timeframe of the statute of limitations during a hearing on Monday (October 19), at which the former "That 70s Show" star was represented by his lawyers Thomas Mesereau and Sharon Appelbaum.
Masterson, who was not in court on Monday, has been charged with forcibly raping three women and faces a maximum sentence of 45 years to life behind bars if found guilty. The actor will be arraigned on 2 November.
Judge Hunter has also rejected the defence team's bid to keep the media out of the courtroom.
Masterson stands accused of raping a 23-year-old woman in 2001, and a 28-year-old and another 23-year-old two years later.
Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller, who is prosecuting the case, claims all the alleged incidents took place at Masterson's home in the Hollywood Hills.
The rape and sexual assault allegations against Masterson have been hanging over him for years and the scandal prompted TV bosses to write his character out of Netflix comedy "The Ranch".
The actor has repeatedly denied the allegations. "Mr. Masterson is innocent, and we're confident that he will be exonerated when all the evidence finally comes to light and witnesses have the opportunity to testify," his lawyer said in a statement in response to the charges. "The people who know Mr. Masterson know his character and know the allegations to be false."