Swedish court finds rapper A$AP Rocky guilty of assault in June street brawl
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — A Swedish court has found American rapper A$AP Rocky guilty of assault for his role in a June 30 street brawl in Stockholm.
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’ two bodyguards, the rapper told the Stockholm District Court.
The court said the defendants “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.” They were also ordered to pay a total of 12,500 kronor ($1,307) in compensation.
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 were not legally obliged to be present in Stockholm.
The issue led to a U.S.-Swedish diplomatic spat.
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.”
Slobodan Jovicic, the lawyer for the U.S. rapper, says he is “disappointed” by the decision. He’d hoped for a “complete acquittal” and told reporters that it was too early to say whether the ruling from the Stockholm District Court will be appealed.