A$AP Rocky found guilty in Sweden assault case, fined $1,300 but will not serve jail time – By Associated Press (USA Today) / Aug 14 2019
STOCKHOLM (AP) — Rapper A$AP Rocky was found guilty of assault Wednesday for his role in a June 30 street brawl in Stockholm but will not serve jail time.
The courts said Rocky and his two bodyguards “were not in a situation” where they were entitled to self-defense and that they “assaulted the victim by hitting and kicking him.”
As a result, the three defendants were “convicted of assault and sentenced to conditional sentences.” That means the three face no prison sentence in Sweden unless they commit a similar offense in the country again. They were also ordered to pay a total of $1,307 (12,500 kronor) in compensation.
The artist, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, earlier pleaded self-defense and said he had tried to avoid a confrontation with two men who he said were persistently following his entourage. One of them picked a fight with one of Mayers’ bodyguards, the rapper told the Stockholm District Court.
USA TODAY has reached out to Rocky’s representative for comment.
The 30-year-old rapper and his two bodyguards were released Aug. 2 pending the verdict. All three have returned to the United States and are not legally obliged to be present in Stockholm.
A$AP Rocky poses at the Cinema Against AIDS Gala on May 25, 2017 in France. (Photo: ALBERTO PIZZOLI, AFP/Getty Images)
Mayers told the court that 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari and his friend refused to leave the entourage alone despite several appeals, and claimed they appeared to be under the influence of drugs.
Testifying in court, Jafari said his memory of the events was confused because of the blows to his head during the brawl. He had told police earlier that he got angry as his headphones were broken during the initial argument with a bodyguard.
A full-scale brawl ensued shortly afterward and prosecutors allege that Mayers and his bodyguards — David Rispers, Jr. and Bladimir Corniel — beat and kicked Jafari while he was on the ground. They said Jafari was hit with parts of or a whole bottle.
Jafari claimed the rapper pushed him to the ground. The prosecution played video footage in court showing Mayers throwing a young man to the ground, and photos showed the alleged victim’s cuts, bruises and blood-stained clothes.
In a court illustration, Rakim Mayers known as A$AP Rocky, is seen in green shirt, as he sits in the district court in Stockholm, Sweden, Tuesday July 30, 2019, to face charges of assault, in Stockholm, Sweden, Tuesday July 30, 2019. (Photo: Anna Harvard, AP)
The case drew the attention of American celebrities and Mayers’ fellow recording artists, including Sean “Diddy” Combs and Justin Bieber. A social media campaign, #JusticeForRocky, has been pressing for his release.
The issue also became a topic of U.S.-Swedish diplomatic spat.
U.S. President Donald Trump intervened on behalf of the rapper while he was jailed, and called Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, offering to personally guarantee his bail, but the Swedish leader said he couldn’t interfere in a legal case. Trump later cheered the release of Mayers and his bodyguards.