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Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Jonah Valdez

'Rick and Morty' co-creator Justin Roiland's felony domestic violence charges dropped

LOS ANGELES — Prosecutors have dropped felony domestic violence charges filed in May 2020 against "Rick and Morty" co-creator Justin Roiland, authorities announced Tuesday.

"We dismissed the charges due to insufficient evidence to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt," Kimberly Edds, spokesperson for the Orange County District Attorney's office, told the L.A. Times over the phone.

Edds cited "additional information that came to light" as a factor, but declined to comment further.

The writer-producer shared his thoughts on the dropped charges with a one-word tweet — "justice" — and a screenshot of a statement in which he called the allegations false.

"I'm thankful that this case has been dismissed but, at the same time, I'm still deeply shaken by the horrible lies that were reported about me during this process," Roiland wrote. "Most of all, I'm disappointed that so many people were so quick to judge without knowing the facts, based solely on the word of an embittered ex trying to bypass due process and have me 'canceled.'"

He added that he is now shifting focus on his "creative projects and restoring" his name.

Roiland had faced one count of domestic battery with corporal injury and one count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud and deceit. He pleaded not guilty to both felonies in October 2020, court records showed.

The charges against Roiland stemmed from an alleged incident on or about Jan. 19, 2020, in Anaheim. It involved an unnamed Jane Doe who was dating Roiland at that time, according to the complaint, which was obtained by the L.A. Times.

As news about the charges against Roiland began to circulate earlier this year with the release of an NBC report on Jan. 12, media companies began to sever ties with him.

The first to end its relationship was Adult Swim, the Cartoon Network's counterpart for mature audiences, which aired six seasons of the Emmy-winning "Rick and Morty." Roiland co-created the show with Dan Harmon and voiced the titular characters, mad scientist Rick Sanchez and his grandson, Morty Smith.

The show had been renewed through Season 10 as part of Adult Swim's 70-episode pickup in 2018.

A day later, Hulu also ceased working with Roiland. He was tied to two animated series on Hulu, co-creating and starring in "Solar Opposites" and executive producing "Koala Man," which also featured his voice acting in a guest role. Both shows continued without Roiland's involvement.

Around the same time, video game studio Squanch Games, which developed Roiland's game "High on Life," announced Roiland had resigned from the company.

Throughout the legal process, Roiland had maintained his innocence, commenting through his attorneys in a statement to The Times that he expected "this matter is on course to be dismissed once the District Attorney's office has completed its methodical review of the evidence."


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