After Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and Jen Harley’s Oct. 3 altercation in LA, he’s been hit with 5 misdemeanor charges. A California family law attorney weighs in and explains why Jen could have enough leverage to fight for sole custody of their 18-month-old daughter.
UPDATE (11/8/19, 5:14 p.m. ET): While appearing in a Los Angeles court on Nov. 8, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro pleaded not guilty to the charges against him in connection to his arrest for an alleged domestic violence incident involving his ex, Jen Harley, on Oct. 4, according to Page Six. He was answering to seven misdemeanors, the outlet added: “domestic violence, child endangerment, brandishing a weapon, criminal threats, false imprisonment and two counts of resisting arrest.”
ORIGINAL: Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and Jen Harley‘s horrific altercation on October 4, could hurt the Jersey Shore star, 33, if his now ex-girlfriend, 31, tries to fight for sole custody of their 18-month-old daughter, Ariana. At the time of the time of the altercation, which occurred at an Airbnb in LA that Ronnie and Jen had been staying in, police confirmed to HollywoodLife that there was a child present, which was believed to be the pair’s daughter.
The latest news following the incident, where Ronnie was arrested and tased by police officers, came on October 24, when E! News confirmed that he is now facing five misdemeanors. — One count of domestic violence, one count of brandishing a weapon, one count of child endangerment, one count of resisting arrest and one count of criminal threats, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
Now, California Family Law Attorney David T. Pisarra tells HollywoodLife that the five misdemeanors Ronnie is facing can “absolutely” effect his custody of Ariana. “Just because his felony was dropped to a misdemeanor does not mean it could not affect custody of his daughter,” Pisarra says, noting, “There seems to be a pattern with Ronnie that is appearing. Jen could very well use this as ammunition against Ronnie if she decides to fight for sole custody.”
Despite Ronnie’s arrest history, Jen has also had her fair share of run-ins with the law. Back in January, Jen was arrested for battery after she and Ronnie got into an altercation on New Year’s Eve. Before that, Jen was arrested in June 2018 for domestic battery after allegedly dragging Ronnie with her car while the two were in Las Vegas.
Therefore, Pisarra says there’s a definite possibility that the Department of Child & Family Services (DCFS) could step in and remove the Ronnie and Jen’s daughter from both of their homes.
“As we all know, at least from the outside, Ronnie and Jen have a very tumultuous relationship, and since Ariana was present during this latest episode, DCFS may still find that Ariana is not living in a safe environment and can remove her from their care,” Pisarra explains.
Following Ronnie’s October 3 arrest, his lawyer, Scott E. Leemon, released the following statement to HollywoodLife: “The reporting of the alleged incident relating to Ronnie Magro yesterday is based upon pure speculation and innuendo. We are currently conducting our own investigation and will have no further comment until that has been concluded.”
Just hours before the duo’s dispute and Ronnie’s subsequent arrest, he and Jen were photographed holding hands and smiling together at the launch event for his Verge CBD company. LAPD later confirmed to us that the “suspect and victim were involved in some type of altercation,” which led police “to use a taser” to take down the suspect, believed to be Ronnie — although police did not mention any specific names in their statement to HollywoodLife. Police also confirmed the child at the scene was not harmed.
Ronnie and Jen began dating in 2017 and have been on and off ever since. They welcomed their first child together, Ariana, on April 3, 2018. Jen is already mom to 12-year-old son Mason.