‘Rick & Morty’s Justin Roiland Battling Domestic Violence Charges; Faces Up To Seven Years Behind Bars If Found Guilty

Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland is facing some serious incarceration time over domestic violence charges.

In a semi-sealed case kept out of the public until today, Roiland has been charged with one felony count of domestic battery with corporal injury and one felony count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud and/or deceit by the Orange County District Attorney’s office. The incident in question against a Jane Doe allegedly occurred in January 2020, according to a May 2020 complaint (read it here).

Based on California sentencing guidelines, that means, the voice of the Adult Swim series’ scientist Rick Sanchez could be behind bars for up to seven years and face some hefty fines if found guilty.

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Having said that, no trial date has been set yet for the case and it looks like a plea is in the offering, according to a hearing held Thursday. Having plead not guilty to the charges in October 2020, Roiland was present for today’s hearing today. He is required to attend a scheduled April 27 hearing.

Neither Roiland’s lawyer nor reps for the Warner Bros. Discovery-owned Adult Swim replied to request for comment on the charges or the case when contacted by Deadline. Roiland’s agency, UTA also did not respond to request for comment on the matter, which was first reported by NBC News.

The Orange County D.A.’s office had no statement on today’s hearing or the case Thursday, expect to confirm the upcoming April hearing

Posting a $50,000 bond in August 2020, Roiland was subjected to a protective order later that year that required him to stay at least 100 feet away from the person he allegedly assaulted. Additionally, the Squanch Games video games studio founder is not to have any contact or harass said unnamed individual. Set to last three years, the protective order expires in October of this year.

As well as the immensely successful Rick and Morty, Roiland co-created and performs in Hulu’s Solar Opposites, which was renewed for a fifth season last October. Roiland also does the voice for the Chad Wagon character in the Michael Cusack created Koala Man, which is on Hulu stateside as well.

While very serious, the charges against Roiland are not the first time Rick and Morty has had to weather off-screen controversy. In 2018, co-creator Dan Harmon was chagrin after a 2009 skit showed him simulating raping a doll went viral.

“In 2009, I made a ‘pilot’ which strove to parody the series Dexter and only succeeded in offending,” Harmon said in a July 2018 statement soon after the video resurfaced. “I quickly realized the content was way too distasteful and took the video down immediately. Nobody should ever have to see what you saw and for that, I sincerely apologize.”

Harmon’s apology seemed enough for Hulu, who had picked up the Emmy winning Rick and Morty for a 70-episode renewal just a few months beforehand.

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