Kanye West pleads no contest to battery of paparazzo at LAX
Kanye West received two years’ probation and was ordered to take anger management classes Monday after pleading no contest to misdemeanor battery on a paparazzo last summer at Los Angeles International Airport.
The 36-year-old rapper was not in court Monday but entered his plea via attorney Blair Berk. West had pleaded not guilty in November to the misdemeanor charges of criminal battery and attempted grand theft in connection with the July 19 scuffle.
The grand theft charge was dropped in exchange for the plea. Each of the counts carried a penalty of up to six months in jail or a $1,000 fine.
West also was ordered to complete 250 hours of approved community service, attend 24 anger management sessions and stay 100 yards away from the photographer, Danny Ramos. He was ordered to pay restitution to Ramos, the sum to be determined at a later court hearing.
The altercation between West and Ramos was caught on video, which showed the rapper heading to a car at the airport when he stopped and got into an argument with one of the numerous photographers there. West was then seen putting the photographer in a headlock and forcing him to the ground.
After reviewing the case, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office declined to file charges and passed it to the L.A. city attorney’s office, which charged West with the lesser misdemeanor counts.
Ramos, who previously told reporters he was in “complete shock” by the attack, said in court Monday he was “only doing his job.” Ramos said he was still suffering physically and emotionally.
“I feel that Kayne West should be sent to jail for his attack on me,” he said. “I believe that if I did what he did to me, I would have been put behind bars.”
Attorney Gloria Allred told reporters after the hearing Monday that she believed the sentence was “not sufficient.” She said she was still “vigorously” litigating the civil suit Ramos filed against West in August.
Earlier this year, L.A. County prosecutors declined to file charges against West for allegedly punching a man at a Beverly Hills chiropractor’s office after the rapper reached a civil compromise with the alleged victim.
West allegedly punched the man after he “used a racial epithet” at West’s fiancee, Kim Kardashian, as she entered the Wilshire Boulevard office. Although a police report was filed, the victim declined to seek criminal prosecution, the L.A. County district attorney’s office said.
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