3:09 PM PT -- Danny was taken into custody Wednesday morning around 11:30 AM PT -- at which point he was booked and eventually released the same day after posting bail.
"That 70's Show" star Danny Masterson has been charged with rape -- this after being accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct and assault over the years.
The charges against Danny were announced Wednesday by Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, who says her office has charged the actor with three counts of felony forcible rape involving three different women ... all of whom are being identified as Jane Does.
The alleged rapes -- according to the D.A. -- occurred between 2001 and late 2003 ... right in the middle of the sitcom's run.
Danny's attorney, Tom Mesereau, tells TMZ ... "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."
He adds, "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."
The actor has been publicly accused of rape before, and each and every time ... he's vehemently denied it.
If convicted on all charges, Danny faces 45 years to life behind bars. It's unclear if he's been taken into custody yet, but the charging documents state that his recommended bail be set at $3.3 million.