After the Trump administration threatened the Swedish government with “negative consequences” for incarcerating A$AP Rocky, the rapper was found guilty of assault by a Swedish judge on Wednesday, but won’t face any more jail time.
The rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was given a conditional sentence and ordered to bay $1,307 in compensation, after he was detained for over a month for beating 19-year old Afghan migrant Mustafa Jafari on June 30.
He pleaded not guilty at the start of the three day trial earlier this month, insisting he resorted to fighting Jafari out of self-defense after Jafari and another man refused to stop stalking and harassing him and his entourage.
Surveillance footage of the incident shows Jafari persistently followed and pestered Mayers and his crew, ignoring their requests to be left alone, until the situation escalated into a physical confrontation.
Prosecutors argued Mayers hurled a bottle Jafari and severely wounded him, but they couldn’t produce a single witness who saw a bottle fly during the brawl.
Mayers conceded he was holding a bottle for protection, but never used it as a weapon.
The presiding judge Per Lennerbrant said prosecutors did not prove the bottle was used to hit the victim and as a result, the crime did not warrant any further time served.
Mayers and his entourage “were not in a situation” where they were entitled to self-defense and that they “assaulted the victim by hitting and kicking him,” the court concluded.
“The evidence in the case has been complex,” Lennerbrant said during a news conference.
While Jafari was struck in the back of the head with a bottle, the judge continued, “it could not be established by whom,” adding that “this has affected the assessment of the seriousness of the crime.”
Mayers faced a six year sentence in a Swedish prison if found guilty, but was allowed to leave Stockholm for Los Angeles on August 3 after the Trump administration pressured the Swedish government for his release and wasn’t required to be present for the verdict.
The Trump administration issued a diplomatic letter to the Swedish government warning of “negative consequences” in US-Swedish relations if Mayer’s assault charges were not quickly resolved.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven shot back, arguing “the Government is not allowed, and will not attempt to influence the legal proceedings.”
“The rapper was not privy to special treatment just because he’s famous,” Löfven warned.
Nonetheless, three days after Trump issued the warning, the Grammy- nominated artist was spotted at Los Angeles International Airport, hugging his entourage in celebration of getting home on U.S. soil.
A$AP Rocky has expressed gratitude for his release from the Swedish prison, thanking Judge Lennerbrant for allowing him to go free, but has yet to thank Trump for advocating on his behalf.
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