Hayden Panettiere’s ex-boyfriend Brian Hickerson could be looking at serious jail time after being charged with multiple counts of domestic violence and assault.
The South Carolina native, 31, was charged with eight counts — seven felonies and one misdemeanor — on Thursday, July 16, according to court documents obtained exclusively by Us Weekly on Friday, July 17.
“If convicted on all charges, Hickerson faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and eight months,” Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office spokesman Greg Risling, told Us.
The first felony count is for injuring Panettiere in an incident that allegedly took place around May 2019. The second count took place nearly six months later in December 2020, a misdemeanor battery.
His third and fourth felony counts are again for injuring his then-girlfriend, allegedly committed in December 2019 and January 2020.
Counts five, six and seven are all linked to an alleged incident in January 2020; the first two are for “felony assault with a deadly weapon” and the third for felony injuring Panettiere. “Garage floor” is listed as one deadly weapon used, while the other lists “stairs.”
His final count is for “felony dissuading a witness from prosecuting a crime” in June 2020.
According to the documents, prosecutors alleged that Hickerson unlawfully attempted to “prevent and dissuade Hayden P., a victim and witness of a crime from causing a complaint, indictment, information, probation and parole violation to be sought and prosecuted and assisting in the prosecution thereof.”
Hickerson, who dated Panettiere from August 2018 to February 2020, was arraigned on Friday afternoon at a Los Angeles court, according to Risling. Hickerson pleaded not guilty to the charges and remains at an L.A. County jail as of Friday afternoon, after being arrested by the LAPD at 9 p.m. PT, on Thursday.
His bail is set at $320,000 and he’s scheduled back in court for a preliminary hearing later this month.
The charges against Hickerson come after the Heroes alum spoke out on Friday about the alleged violence she faced while dating Hickerson.
“I am coming forward with the truth about what happened to me with the hope that my story will empower others in abusive relationships to get the help they need and deserve,” the actress told Us in a statement. “I am prepared to do my part to make sure this man never hurts anyone again. I’m grateful for my support system, which helped me find the courage to regain my voice and my life.”
Earlier in the week, the Nashville alum filed for an out-of-state protective order against her ex in her home state of California. She previously obtained the order elsewhere after Hickerson was arrested in Wyoming in February for allegedly punching Panettiere in the face.
For anyone affected by abuse and needing support, call 1-800-799-7233, or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474.
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With reporting by Marjorie Hernandez
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