American rapper A$AP Rocky was found guilty of assault on Wednesday in a Swedish court, but will avoid further jail time.
A$AP Rocky (real name: Rakim Mayers) was given a conditional sentence after the court found that the assault was not “of such a serious nature” as to warrant more time in prison.
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A$AP Rocky was arrested in July after he and two associates got into a brawl in the streets of Stockholm with a 19-year-old man, Mustafa Jafari.
The court that found A$AP Rocky guilty of assault for his role in the street brawl says he and his two bodyguards “assaulted the victim by hitting and kicking him as he lay on the ground.”
The court said the defendants “were not in a situation” where they were entitled to self-defence.
As a result, the three defendants were “convicted of assault and sentenced to conditional sentences.”
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That means the three face no prison sentence in Sweden unless they commit a similar offence in the country again.
The three were released Aug. 2 pending the verdict. All returned to the United States and are not legally obliged to be present in Stockholm.
During the trial, prosecutors played video footage that showed the rapper throwing a young man to the ground.
Per Lennerbrant, the presiding judge, told a news conference that “the evidence in the case has been complex.”
The victim, 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari, was struck in the back of the head with a bottle but “it could not be established by whom,” he said, adding that “this has affected the assessment of the seriousness of the crime.”
The three avoided prison sentences. They were given conditional sentences and also ordered to a pay a total of 12,500 kronor ($1,307) in compensation.
The rapper took to Instagram on Wednesday to say he is “of course disappointed by today’s verdict.”
He continued: “I want to say thanks again to all of my fans, friends, and everyone who showed me love during this difficult time. Imma keep moving forward. Thank you to my team, my management, attorneys, label and everyone who advocated for justice.”
Videos published on social media appear to show a person being violently thrown onto the ground by A$AP Rocky, 30. The rapper asserts that it was self-defence.
Prosecutor Daniel Suneson said that he concluded otherwise after studying videos available to investigators.
“It is worth noting that I have had access to a greater amount of material than that which has previously been available on the internet,” he said. “In addition to video material, the injured party’s statements have been supported by witness statements.”
The video was published to Stockholm news outlets, and the rapper posted videos of his own to his Instagram account.
In the video, the man who the rapper allegedly threw is seen harassing A$AP Rocky and his entourage on the streets of Stockholm.
Defence lawyer Jovicic said “Rakim Mayers feels that he acted in self-defence, he is claiming that he is innocent, and in that perspective, he, of course, is very sad.”
In the Goldie rapper’s videos, two young men can be seen following A$AP Rocky and his entourage even after his security tells them to leave.
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On Instagram, he described the people following him as “drug addicts” that “are not my fans.”
In the video, the rapper repeatedly tells the pair of young men that he does not want to fight them.
“We don’t wanna fight y’all, we not trying to go to jail … It’s OK, bro, chill,” A$AP Rocky can be heard saying in the video.
(WARNING: The video below contains explicit language.)
At one point in the video, one of the men following A$AP Rocky appears to hit the rapper’s security guard with a large pair of headphones.
“Hits security in face with headphones then follow us,” A$AP Rocky wrote.
(WARNING: The video below contains explicit language.)
Sean (Diddy) Combs, Justin Bieber and Kris Jenner are some of the celebrities who publicly expressed support for A$AP Rocky.
The 30-year-old rapper’s supporters started a Change.org petition for his freedom while he was in custody.
The petition, titled #JusticeForRocky, was created by A$AP Mob and alleged A$AP Rocky and his colleagues were denied their right to counsel.
“Upon being detained, Rocky was denied his request to counsel, which is in violation of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to which Sweden is a signatory,” the petition read.
It continued: “Everyone has the same rights to be treated fairly upon detainment and should be given fair and equal access to such rights. Since, he has been allowed to visit with a U.S. Embassy consult an attorney, but only in the presence of Swedish officials. It is extremely troubling and worrisome that the laws are not being applied equally in these circumstances.”
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The petition also said that A$AP Mob filed “an appeal with the Swedish Supreme Court to have Rocky released from the inhumane conditions and the clear violation of human rights,” but the filing was rejected, which means he will “remain in prison for two weeks.”
“The conditions of the facility are horrific. Some of the inhumane conditions Rocky and his colleagues are facing at the Stockholm Detention Center include 24-7 solitary confinement, restriction of amenities for the most basic of human functions, access to palatable and life-sustaining food as well as unsanitary conditions,” the petition alleged.
It also stated that A$AP Rocky and the other three people arrested could remain in jail until a trial is scheduled for “mid- to end of August.”
“To keep Rocky and his colleagues in jail pending the lengthy trial proceedings is a punishment before the fact, with no due process. Join us in the #JusticeForRocky movement and demand that Rocky be released from Swedish officials immediately,” the petition read.
Prison governor Fredrik Wallin spoke to People and discredited A$AP Mob’s description of the prison.
—With files from the Associated Press