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LAPD Investigating 'That '70's Show' Star For Sexual Assault Allegations

LOS ANGELES (AP) —  Los Angeles police are investigating allegations that "That'70's Show" star Danny Masterson sexually assaulted three women in the early 2000s.

He denies the allegations and says they are motivated by the producer of an anti-Scientology television series.

The probe was launched after three women came forward and reported they were sexually assaulted by Masterson, said Officer Drake Madison, a Los Angeles police spokesman. He declined to provide any further details, citing the ongoing investigation.

The 40-year-old actor is best known for his role as Steven Hyde on "That '70s Show," a popular ABC sitcom which aired from 1998-2006. He's currently starring in a Netflix series called "The Ranch."

A representative for Masterson, who has not been charged with a crime, denied the allegations in a statement Friday, saying one of the accusers was his longtime girlfriend who continued to date him after the alleged incident.

"The alleged incident occurred in the middle of their six-year relationship, after which she continued to be his longtime girlfriend," the statement said.

Masterson's statement also said another one of the accusers had brought the same allegations to the LAPD about 14 years ago but police "determined the claim had no merit."

The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they are the victims of sexual assault.

Masterson, who has identified himself as a practicing Scientologist, said in the statement that he believes the "false allegations" are an attempt to boost a television series featuring former members of the Church of Scientology. He says one of the women only came forward after speaking with one of the show's producers.

"That '70's Show" helped launch the careers of young stars Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kinis, Laura Prepon, Topher Grace and Wilmer Valderrama.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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