'Free Willy' star arrested and charged with domestic violence

Laura Hannam
The Free Willy actor has been arrested and charged. (REX)

Jason James Ritcher, who starred in 90’s family movie Free Willy, has been arrested and charged for domestic violence. The actor, now aged 38, has confirmed to TMZ that he was arrested Monday night in San Fernando Valley, California, USA for a domestic violence misdemeanour.

He spent two nights in jail until he was released on a $20,000 (£15,347) bail on Wednesday. Ritcher’s representative told TMZ that an argument ensued between Ritcher and his girlfriend. The representative said she locked the bedroom door, only for Ritcher to break it down.

The girlfriend reported the incident to the police hours later, alleging domestic violence. Ritcher’s representative claims the girlfriend said he grabbed her wrists and authorities told TMZ he ‘grabbed her.’

Ritcher has been charged with one count of vandalism and another count of battery on a significant other with no physical injury. If found guilty, he could face up to one year in prison.

The actor starred in the hugely popular 1993 movie Free Willy as well as its two sequels Free Willy: 2 and Free Willy 3: The Rescue. 

Ritcher has continued as a working actor into adulthood, but according to his IMDB mainly with one-off appearances on television series such as Bones, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behaviour and Sabrina, The Teenage Witch. 

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