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A$AP Rocky guilty: Rapper convicted of assault and ordered to pay damages to victim

‘Self-defence’ claim rejected by court which says rapper and bodyguards hit and kicked victim as they lay on the ground

Harry Cockburn
Wednesday 14 August 2019 14:09 BST
A$AP Rocky convicted of assault and ordered to pay damages to victim

A$AP Rocky has been found guilty of assault and given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay damages to his victim.

The American rapper had been detained in Sweden after his role in a street brawl in Stockholm in June.

The rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was arrested along with two members of his entourage on 3 July, three days after the brawl.

He had earlier claimed he acted in self-defence and to avoid a confrontation with two men.

Mayers told the court the two men had followed him and his bodyguards and that one of them, a 19-year-old, had picked a fight with one of the group.

But in a statement Stockholm District Court said witnesses did not support this version of events.

“Based on statements from two witnesses, the court finds that the defendants were not subject to a current or imminent criminal attack. Therefore, they were not in a situation where they were entitled to use violence in self-defence. Nor could they have perceived themselves to be in such a situation,” the statement said.

“The court finds that it has been proven that the defendants assaulted the victim by hitting and kicking him as he lay on the ground. The artist has also thrown the victim to the ground and stepped on his arm.”

The court said it had not been proven that Mayers or his two bodyguards had attacked the two men with glass bottles, as had been alleged.

“All three defendants are convicted of assault and sentenced to conditional sentences,” the court said.

“The victim was awarded damages for violation of his integrity and pain and suffering, but less than he requested. The defendants, each based on their financial ability, repay the state for its expenses for public legal counselling.”

Mayers’ arrest meant he was forced to pull out of a string of tour dates.

After the rapper had spent two weeks behind bars in Sweden, US president Donald Trump had attempted to use his diplomacy skills to secure the release of the rapper.

“Just spoke to @KanyeWest about his friend A$AP Rocky’s incarceration. I will be calling the very talented Prime Minister of Sweden to see what we can do about helping A$AP Rocky. So many people would like to see this quickly resolved!”

But when his efforts were unable to secure the immediate release of the rapper, deference rapidly turned to indignation.

“Give A$AP Rocky his FREEDOM. We do so much for Sweden but it doesn’t seem to work the other way around. Sweden should focus on its real crime problem!” Mr Trump tweeted.

Mayers spent a month in custody in Sweden and returned to the US on 2 August on temporary release following a trial.

The trio were not legally obliged to be present in Stockholm for today’s verdict.

Senior judge Per Lennerbrant said: “The overall evidentiary situation in the case has been complex. The prosecutor has not been able to prove that the victim was struck in the back of the head with a bottle or that he was in any other way assaulted with bottles. This affected the assessment of the seriousness of the crime.”

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