Rick and Morty, High On Life creator Justin Roiland has been charged with felony domestic violence KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Thursday, January 12, 2023

Rick and Morty, High On Life creator Justin Roiland has been charged with felony domestic violence

Justin Roiland, the star and co-creator of the animated comedy series “Rick and Morty,” has been charged with felony domestic violence in Orange County, California, in connection with a 2020 incident, according to a criminal complaint filed in May 2020 by the Orange County District Attorney. He appeared in court Thursday for a pre-trial hearing.

Roiland pleaded not guilty in 2020. Roiland and his attorneys didn’t respond to requests for comment. NBC News obtained the criminal complaint in the case, which charges Roiland, 42, with one felony count of domestic battery with corporal injury and one felony count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud and/or deceit. NBC News is the first to report publicly on the case.

The complaint states the incident occurred on or about Jan. 19, 2020, against an anonymous Jane Doe who was dating Roiland at the time.

According to Orange County Superior Court records, Roiland pleaded not guilty to both charges in October 2020. Since then, the case has been the subject of more than a dozen court hearings, including pre-trial hearings. A trial date is not currently set. 

Many court records remained sealed but the available public documents seen by NBC News say Roiland was charged in May 2020. Roiland was arrested and released on a $50,000 bond in August 2020 and arraigned in October 2020.

During Thursday’s hearing, Roiland’s attorney confirmed there is a plea offer available to Roiland, but did not discuss details. The brief hearing concluded a moment later with an agreement to convene again on April 27. Roiland was ordered to attend the hearing.

Roiland is best known for Adult Swim’s “Rick and Morty,” which has spawned a billion-dollar media and merchandising franchise and is one of the most popular adult television comedies. The show’s sixth season aired in September 2022, and a seventh season was ordered by Cartoon Network as part of a long-term deal for 70 new episodes. Roiland, in addition to co-creating the series with Dan Harmon, voices the two titular characters. 

Adult Swim, whose parent company Warner Bros. Discovery also owns Cartoon Network, declined to comment.

This news comes shortly after the release of High on Life, a first-person shooter game created by Roiland’s video game company, Squanch Games. Despite the game’s popularity on Game Pass, Xbox’s Netflix-like game subscription service, it’s been at the center of controversy for its use of an AI generator to create poster art and vocal performances. Prior to High on Life’s release on December 13, Roiland launched two NFT projects in 2021 and 2022 called The Best I Could Do and Art Gobblers.

Thus far, over a dozen hearings have taken place connected to these charges, including a pre-trial hearing today, but a trial date has not yet been set. Roiland was reportedly arrested in May of 2020 and released on a $50,000 bond the following August. In October, a protective order was filed stating that he was not permitted to harass, threaten, surveil, or go within 100 feet of the Jane Doe in question.

A number of other case details are reportedly being withheld under a protective order, though an attorney confirmed to NBC News that a plea offer is available. NBC reports that a hearing in the case is planned to reconvene on April 27, with Roiland ordered to attend.

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