Akon to go to trial in NY fan-toss case

September 3, 2008 1:00:52 PM PDT
Akon is headed to trial on criminal charges he tossed a fan offstage at an upstate concert last summer.The 35-year-old singer is accused of tossing a teenager off the stage during a June 2007 concert at a minor league baseball stadium near Poughkeepsie. Another concertgoer said she suffered a concussion when the boy landed on her.

Akon, whose real name is Aliaune Thiam, asked for the jury trial during a brief appearance with his lawyer in Fishkill Town Court on Wednesday. He's due back in court for trial Dec. 1 unless a deal is negotiated in the meantime.

He pleaded not guilty in December to misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a minor and second-degree harassment, a violation.

In court Wednesday, Judge Harold Epstein met privately with Akon's lawyer, Andrea Zellan, and Dutchess County Assistant District Attorney Anthony Parisi before announcing the case would go to trial unless a deal is reached.

"We are pleased that Judge Epstein adjourned the case to a date certain for either a trial or a negotiated resolution," Zellan said in a prepared statement. "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."

Akon's hits include "Smack That" with Eminem and "I Wanna Love You" with Snoop Dogg. His most recent album, "Konvicted," was nominated for four Grammy Awards.


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