After a long three year investigation that, at times, looked it would go nowhere, That ’70s Show and The Ranch star Danny Masterson was officially charged with three counts of rape on Wednesday. The surprise announcement came after years of back-and-forth headlines involving the Church of Scientology and Masterson’s multiple accusers, four of whom sued the church and the actor in 2019 over claims that they were stalked and harassed after going to the police.
In a statement to PEOPLE, the four accusers suing Masterson expressed their thanks to the Los Angeles County’s D.A. Office for finally charging the actor with rape, and they are confident that justice will be done.
“Since we were victimized and raped by Danny Masterson—and knowing we are not the only victims—all we have wanted was justice, accountability, and truth. Instead, we were 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,” the statement, given to PEOPLE by the women’s attorneys, reads. “We are thankful that the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office is finally seeking criminal justice against Masterson after a three-year investigation. 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 accusers’ statement arrives on the heels of former Scientologist Leah Remini’s reaction to the charges. Remini has been championing the victims during their struggles with the church and its alleged efforts to influence the LAPD.
“Finally, victims are being heard when it comes to Scientology! Praise the lord!” Remini tweeted. “This is just the beginning Scientology, your days of getting away with it is coming to an end! #justice #scientologytheaftermath.”
Back in 2017, Remini interviewed Masterson’s accusers for an episode of her award-winning A&E series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. After talking to the D.A.’s office, however, Remini shelved the episode out of concern that it could jeopardize the investigation. But as the case continued to move at a snail’s pace and concerns were raised over whether it had been permanently stalled, Remini pulled the trigger and aired the interview for the series finale in August 2019.