Rick And Morty co-creator and star Justin Roiland is facing two criminal charges in connection with an alleged domestic violence incident that took place in 2020, NBC News reports. A criminal complaint was filed against Roiland—who voices both of the popular animated show’s titular characters—by the Orange County District Attorney in May 2020, in connection with an incident that took place in January that year.
The film-maker and actor has been charged with one count of domestic battery with corporal injury, for allegedly hurting an unnamed woman he was dating at the time, as well as one felony count of false imprisonment. Roiland was arrested and released on a $50,000 bond in August 2020, and plead not guilty when arraigned that October.
NBC News also reports that a protective order was filed against Roiland that month, directing him to not harass, threaten or surveil the person named in the order, though their identity is not yet known. The order—which is in effect till October 2023—prevents him from going within 100 feet of the person and also directs him from turning in any firearms he owns or possesses.
There have been over a dozen pre-trial hearings in the case, but a trial date has not been set. Roiland’s attorney T. Edward Welbourn insisted on his client’s innocence in a written statement to NPR.
“It is hard to overstate how inaccurate the recent media coverage of this situation has been. To be clear, not only is Justin innocent but we also have every expectation that this matter is on course to be dismissed once the District Attorney’s office has completed its methodical review of the evidence. We look forward to clearing Justin’s name and helping him move forward as swiftly as possible.”
On 12 January 2023, Roiland appeared in court for another pre-trial hearing. During the proceedings his lawyer confirmed there is a plea offer available to Roiland, but did not discuss anything more. The hearing concluded with an agreement to convene again on 27 April. Roiland has been summoned to appear before court on this date as well.
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