What are the charges against Justin Roiland?
In January 2023, it was reported that Roiland was charged with felony domestic battery and false imprisonment in Orange County, California, in connection with an alleged incident in January 2020 toward an unnamed woman he was reportedly dating at the time.
A hearing is scheduled for April 27, 2023.
Adult Swim announced later that month that Roiland had been dismissed from Rick and Morty due to the charges and his roles would be recast for future seasons.
Roiland pleaded not guilty in 2020. In a statement, one of Roiland’s attorneys wrote that his client is innocent and he expects the case will be dismissed.
“We look forward to clearing Justin’s name and helping him move forward as swiftly as possible,” attorney T. Edward Welbourn wrote.
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.
A protective order filed in October 2020 and documented in the court minutes said Roiland is not to harass, threaten or surveil the person named in the protective order, who is not known to NBC News. Roiland cannot go within 100 feet of the person, according to the order, which also ordered Roiland to turn in any firearms he owned or possessed. The order lasts until October 2023, and it’s not known who submitted the request for the order.
Roiland’s attorney, T. Edward Welbourn, gave the following statement to Variety: “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.”
Roiland is best known for co-creating the Adult Swim animated comedy “Rick and Morty,” on which he also voices the show’s titular characters, Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith. In 2018, during its third season, the series was renewed for 70 additional episodes. Season 6 ended in December 2022.
He also co-created Hulu’s “Solar Opposites” and similarly voices that series’ main character, Korvo. Roiland has voiced characters on “Adventure Time,” “Gravity Falls” and “Fish Hooks.” His credits also include “The Simpsons,” “Robot Chicken,” “Yo Gabba Gabba!” and “Community.” He is the founder of animation studio Justin Roiland’s Solo Vanity Card Productions! and video game studio Squanch Games.
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