A$AP Rocky Found Guilty of Assault by Swedish Court, Sentence Suspended

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
August 14, 2019 Updated: August 14, 2019

American rapper A$AP Rocky was found guilty of assault by a Swedish court on Aug. 14 but given a suspended sentence in a case that’s consumed international attention.

Rocky, 30, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was arrested with two members of his entourage over the of beating 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari on June 30 in central Stockholm. He said he acted in self-defense.

During the final day of the trial Friday, one of the witnesses to the assault revised her story from initial police reports that she didn’t actually see Mayers hit Jafari with a bottle—a key focus of the case. She and a friend, testifying anonymously at Stockholm District Court, both maintained that they did see Mayers and his partners assaulting Jafari, though.

“Everything happened very quickly. We were scared for our lives,” the first woman told the court in Swedish. “He [Jafari] was bleeding. He showed his injuries on his hand. He also said he had a sore back.”

Epoch Times Photo
A$AP Rocky (rear) and his defense lawyer Slobodan Jovicic in the district court in Stockholm on Aug. 2, 2019, on the third day of A$AP Rocky’s trial. (Court Illustration by Anna Harvard/TT via AP)

Rocky, David Rispers Jr., and Bladimir Corniel were released in early August and landed in the United States on Aug. 3.

The court said on Wednesday that 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.”

The sentences were suspended.

“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 in a statement.

Epoch Times Photo
A$AP Rocky (R) leaves the district court in Stockholm by car, after the third day of his trial, on Aug. 2, 2019. (Fredrik Persson/TT via AP)

It was unclear if the men would have returned to Sweden if sentenced to prison. While detained, their attorney said they were held in deplorable conditions.

Prosecutor Daniel Suneson had said in a statement in late July that he filed charges against the artist and two others “suspected of assault causing actual bodily harm, having come to the conclusion that the events in question constitute a crime and despite claims of self-defense and provocation.”

Suneson said video footage indicated the men did not act in self-defense and that he had more information than what’s available to peruse publicly.

“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.” Suneson later asked for a six month sentence for Rocky.

The case drew the attention of people around the world, including U.S. President Donald Trump, who first spoke about the situation on July 19 at a White House event, noting First Lady Melania Trump brought the case to him.

trump slams biden
President Donald Trump speaks to the press on the South Lawn of the White House before departing in Washington on Aug. 9, 2019. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

“I personally don’t know A$AP Rocky, but I can tell you that he has tremendous support from the African American community in this country,” he added. “When I say African American, I think I can really say from everybody in this country because we’re all one.”

In posts on Twitter, Trump said he spoke with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven about treating Rocky fairly.

Trump offered to post bail for Rocky but Sweden does not have a bail system.

Lofven later said the country’s judicial system prevented him from intervening in court proceedings.

Trump later ratcheted up the pressure on Sweden, calling on Lofven to free Rocky, prompting Swedish officials to maintain they could not.

Some of the tension vanished when Rocky and his companions were freed from prison on Aug. 2 and arrived in Los Angeles two days later.

Rocky took to Instagram to thank fans for their support during this “very difficult and humbling experience.”

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.