Akon to stand trial for assaulting teenager

Apparently, it's just not cool to sling 15-year-old boys over your shoulder and throw them into a crowd of people. Oh, and the woman the boy landed on ain't happy, either ...

It seems not even Akon is allowed to go around throwing children into the air.

The Autotune-toting singer has been ordered to stand trial following an incident last summer when he threw a teenage fan off the stage at a small-town gig. Yesterday, Fishkill Town Justice Harold Epstein ordered Akon, who was present for the hearing, to return to the court on December 1 for the start of a jury trial.

In June of 2008, Akon was performing at the annual KFEST concert in New York state. According to eyewitness accounts, someone threw something at the Senegalese-born singer mid-way through the show. Akon asked the crowd to help him identify the heckler – and a 15-year-old boy was eventually escorted to the stage. Rather than giving the lad a stern Autotuned talking-to, Akon lifted him into the air and hurled him into the crowd.

In Fishkill, NY, this is not acceptable.

Akon now faces a maximum one year and 15 days in jail if convicted on charges of second-degree harassment and endangering the welfare of a child. His attorneys seem eager to reach a settlement deal, saying in a statement that "Akon looks forward to putting this incident behind him, and in the meantime, he will continue to meet every requirement set forth by the court."

Even if a deal is reached, however, Akon will still have some trouble on his hands. Adding insult – or rather litigation - to injury, a civil lawsuit has been filed against him by the woman upon whom the 15-year-old landed. Next time, Akon will have to be more careful where he aims.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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