Justin Roiland | Co-creator and voice of Rick and Morty facing domestic violence charges

Justin Roiland, the co-creator of the acclaimed TV show Rick and Morty, faces domestic violence charges in California.

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The incident in question took place in 2020, but became public this week after Roiland appeared in court for a pre-trial hearing. The charging document, describing the alleged crimes, remains sealed.

Roiland, 42, pleaded not guilty to two charges of domestic battery with corporal injury and false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud and/or deceit.

If found guilty of the two counts, Roiland could face seven years in prison.

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Producers Justin Roiland (L) and Dan Harmon speak onstage during the Adult Swim: Rick and Morty panel at the Turner Broadcasting portion of the 2013 Summer Television Critics Association tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 24, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

According to documents obtained by NBC news, the incident is believed to have occurred around January 19 2020. The felony criminal charges were filed by the Orange County District Attorney in May of that year, and the accuser is an anonymous “Jane Doe”. Police say the woman “was in a dating relationship” with the Rick and Morty co-creator at the time.

Roiland’s actions resulted “in a traumatic condition” for the Jane Doe, a police complaint says.

He was arrested and then released on a $50,000 bond in August 2020, before pleading not guilty that October. A protective order was filed against Roiland, ordering him to keep at least 100 feet away from the accuser, and to not harass, threaten or spy on her.

Roiland was also forced to return any firearms he possessed, with police keeping hold of any until at least October 2023.

At a court hearing this week, which Roiland attended, his lawyer told the judge that a plea deal was available, however no further details were provided. Another hearing has been scheduled for April 27, with Roiland’s attendance mandatory.

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A figure of Rick, from Rick and Morty, at the Adult Swim Festival 2018

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A figure of Morty, from Rick and Morty, at the Adult Swim Festival 2018 at ROW DTLA on October 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

Roiland voices the titular characters in the adult cartoon comedy Rick and Morty. The show first aired in 2013 and its sixth season was released in September 2022 on Adult Swim, Cartoon Network’s nighttime, adult alternative.

The animated sitcom follows the intergalactic adventures of a mad scientist named Rick, and his grandson, Morty. 

Since the sixth season, 70 new episodes have already been ordered. Warner Bros Discovery, which owns Cartoon Network, have yet to comment on the charges against Roiland. 

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