A$AP Rocky performs on the Camp Stage during day 2 of Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival 2017 at Exposition Park on October 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
A$AP Rocky, rear, and his defence lawyer Slobodan Jovicic in the district court in Stockholm, Friday Aug. 2, 2019, on the third day of A$AP Rocky’s trial. American rapper A$AP Rocky testified Thursday at his assault trial that he did everything possible to avoid a confrontation with two men he said were persistently following his entourage in Stockholm, but one of those men picked a fight with one of his bodyguards. (Court Illustration by Anna Harvard/TT via AP)
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A$AP Rocky headlines day two of the the Real Street music festival at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Sunday, August 11, 2019. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)
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FILE – This Feb. 9, 2019 file photo shows A$AP Rocky at Pre-Grammy Gala And Salute To Industry Icons in Beverly Hills, Calif. Prosecutors in Sweden are dropping the investigation of a man they say was involved in a fight with American rapper A$AP Rocky. The platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated artist whose real name is Rakim Mayers, has been behind bars since early this month as police investigate the fight in Stockholm.(Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
TORONTO, ONTARIO – MAY 30: A$AP Ferg performs during halftime of Game One of the 2019 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena on May 30, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – JANUARY 08: A$AP Rocky performs at The Armory on January 08, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
EVAN AGOSTINI/ASSOCIATED PRESS ARCHIVES Hitmaking rapper A$AP Rocky is among the headliners on Saturday as the Treasure Island Festival returns this weekend.
A$AP Rocky (Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP)
By DAVID KEYTON | The Associated Press
STOCKHOLM — A Swedish court on Wednesday found American rapper A$AP Rocky guilty of assault for his role in a June 30 street brawl in Stockholm that drew the close attention of U.S. President Donald Trump.
Though the 30-year-old rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, and his two bodyguards were found to have hit and kicked the victim during the brawl, the three defendants did not face the prospect of an immediate prison term and did not have to attend the verdict by the Stockholm District Court.
The court did sentence the three to “conditional sentences,” which means they face no prison sentence in Sweden unless they commit a similar offense in the country again.
The three, who were released Aug. 2 pending the verdict and returned to the U.S., have been ordered to a pay a total of 12,500 kronor ($1,310) in compensation to the victim.
The artist had pleaded self-defense and said he had tried to avoid a confrontation with the two men who he claimed were persistently following his entourage. One of them picked a fight with one of Mayers’ two bodyguards, the rapper told during the court proceedings.
The court said the defendants “were not in a situation where they were entitled to self-defense.”
“In an overall assessment the court finds that the assault has not been of such a serious nature that a prison sentence must be chosen,” the court said.
This sort of sentencing is in line with other cases in Sweden.
During the trial, prosecutors played video footage that showed the rapper throwing a young man to the ground.
Though the victim, 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari, was struck in the back of the head with a bottle, presiding judge Per Lennerbrant said it could “not be established by whom” and this inability “affected the assessment of the seriousness of the crime.”
Slobodan Jovicic, Mayers’ Swedish defense lawyer was “disappointed” by the verdict and said he had been looking for “a complete acquittal.”
Mayers had told the court before his release that Jafari and his friend refused to go away 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.
The issue also became a topic of U.S.-Swedish diplomatic spat.
U.S. President 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.
Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed to this report.
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