Controversial rapper and actor Tupac Amaru Shakur was arrested Thursday for forcible sodomy and unlawful imprisonment of a 20-year-old woman at the upscale Parker Meridien Hotel in New York City, police said.
The 22-year-old rapper was detained along with two other suspects Friday in the Manhattan Detention Facility after an unidentified woman alleged that the singer and two other men held her down while a fourth male sodomized her in a hotel room. The fourth suspect was still at large Friday.
Shakur, whose Top 20 hit single “Keep Ya Head Up” is being touted for its positive pro-woman message, faces a maximum penalty of up to 29 years in jail if convicted on the two felony counts.
Shakur’s New York attorney Michael Warren said the charges against the rapper are false and claimed the woman has already hired a lawyer for the purpose of filing a civil action. The rapper, who made his start as part of Oakland group Digital Underground, told New York police that he is now a resident of Newhall, Calif.
This is only the latest in a string this year of legal problems for Shakur.
The rapper, who co-starred with Janet Jackson in the movie “Poetic Justice,” is due Dec. 1 in an Atlanta court to face two counts of aggravated assault stemming from an October disturbance in which he allegedly shot and wounded two off-duty police officers.
Shakur, who was free on $50,000 bail over that incident, also faces an outstanding charge of simple battery for allegedly slapping a woman last summer when she asked him for his autograph, according to Atlanta police.
He was arrested on March 11 in Los Angeles for carrying a concealed weapon and two days later for allegedly assaulting a limo driver outside the set of Fox-TV’s “In Living Color.” He also allegedly attacked director Allen Hughes last spring after being dismissed from Hughes’ “Menace II Society” film.
Shakur’s 1991 “2PACALYPSE NOW” album came under attack last year by politicians and police groups after a teen-age car thief blamed the rapper’s “cop-killing” lyrics for inciting the murder of a Texas state trooper. The music was exonerated in July when an Austin jury rejected the rap defense and sentenced the real-life cop killer to death.
Shakur and his Time Warner-affiliated record label, Interscope Records, still face a multimillion-dollar product liability lawsuit filed by the trooper’s widow. The civil trial on that case is scheduled to reach trial in late 1994, with Shakur and Interscope Records as co-defendants.