The co-creator and lead voice actor in the animated comedy show “Rick and Morty” appeared in court Thursday on felony domestic violence charges, stemming from an alleged incident in 2020.
Justin Roiland, who created the Cartoon Network and Adult Swim series alongside Dan Harmon, is facing felony charges of domestic battery with corporal injury and false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud and/or deceit for an alleged incident that occurred on Jan. 19, 2020 with a woman he had been “in a dating relationship” with at the time, according to a criminal complaint obtained by EW.
The woman, identified only as Jane Doe, alleged that the incident had left her in a “traumatic condition.”
Roiland was charged months later in May 2020.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
Many of the specific details of the case, including the affidavit outlining the allegations, medical reports, interview recordings, body camera footage and police reports, have been sealed under a protective order, according to NBC News.
Roiland’s attorney T. Edward Welbourn said in a statement to Oxygen.com that he expects the case to be dismissed.
“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,” Welbourn said. “We look forward to clearing Justin’s name and helping him move forward as swiftly as possible.”
Photo: Getty Images
Roiland was arrested in August 2020 and later released on a $50,000 bond, according to NBC News.
In October of that year, a protective order was filed that prohibited Roiland from harassing, threatening, surveilling or going within 100 feet of the person named in the order, although its not clear who submitted the request for the order. He was also ordered to surrender any firearms he owned or possessed.
In court on Thursday, Roiland’s attorney said a plea offer has been offered to Roiland, but did not elaborate, the news outlet reports.
Roiland’s next court hearing is scheduled for April 27.
Roiland created the popular Adult Swim comedy “Rick and Morty” with Dan Harmon and voices the sci-fi series titular characters. He won an Emmy for the show in 2020 and earned a Hollywood Critics Choice Association TV award for his work on the series last year.
In addition, Roiland serves as the co-creator and voice actor on Hulu’s “Solar Opposites,” which was recently renewed for its fifth season. His new Hulu series “Koala Man” debuted earlier this month.
Roiland is also an emerging force in the art world and sold an NFT art collection in 2021 for $1.65 million. That same year, his first painting was sold at a Sotheby’s auction.