'Free Willy' actor Jason James Richter arrested on domestic violence charges

Former child Jason James Richter, who starred in the Free Willy movie franchise, has been arrested on domestic violence charges.

The actor, 38, was taken into police custody Monday in the San Fernando Valley section of Los Angeles after a fight with his girlfriend, TMZ reports. Richter, who is facing a misdemeanor domestic violence charge as well as one count of vandalism, spent two nights in jail before being released on Wednesday on $20,000 bail. If found guilty, he could face up to one year in prison.

Yahoo Entertainment has reached out to an LAPD spokesperson as well as Richter’s publicist for comment.

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'Free Willy' star Jason James Richter through the years
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'Free Willy' star Jason James Richter through the years
Jason James Richter in the water in a scene from the film 'Free Willy', 1993. (Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)
Jason James Richter holding whale piece in a scene from the film 'Free Willy', 1993. (Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)
Jason James Richter looking through window in a scene from the film 'Free Willy', 1993. (Photo by Warner Brothers/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 18: Jason James Richter (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 18: Jason James Richter (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 18: Jason James Richter (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 18: Jason James Richter (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 18: Jason James Richter (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Jason James Richter during Jason James Richter appears on the 'CBS Morning Show' - April 11, 1995 at Jason James Richter appears on the 'CBS Morning Show', NYC in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Derek Storm/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 17: Actor Jason James Richter attends the 'Free Willy' 20th Anniversary Celebration at the Egyptian Theatre on August 17, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 17: (L-R) Actors Michael Madsen, Jason James Richter and Jayne Atkinson attend the 'Free Willy' 20th Anniversary Celebration at the Egyptian Theatre on August 17, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 17: Actors Jason James Richter (L) and Jayne Atkinson attend the 'Free Willy' 20th Anniversary Celebration at the Egyptian Theatre on August 17, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
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Richter’s rep told TMZ that his arrest stemmed from a dispute with his girlfriend, who has not been identified, at their home. A police source told the website that the actor thought his girlfriend was “having an affair” with a co-worker. Their altercation escalated and at one point she was locked in their bedroom and he broke down the door to get in. The woman went to the police department a few hours later to file a report, saying he had pulled her by the wrists to the living room. However, police sources said they didn’t see “visible marks.”

Richter first made waves in Hollywood as the young star of 1993’s Free Willy as well as its two sequels, Free Willy: 2 and Free Willy 3: The Rescue. He’s continued as a working actor, appearing with Heather Graham in Last Rampage: The Escape of Gary Tison last year. He has been in a number of small-budget films this year.

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