A town justice in upstate New York has ordered Akon to stand trial on charges stemming from an incident at a June 2007 concert, during which the performer is accused of hoisting a 15-year-old fan on his back and hurling him off a stage and into the crowd. Wednesday morning was the second Akon appearance in Fishkill Town Court — in December, he pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree harassment, a violation; and endangering the welfare of a minor, a misdemeanor. He faces a year and 15 days in jail.
Akon's trial is scheduled to start December 1, though both sides are hoping the case is resolved beforehand. Akon released a statement that said he "looks forward to putting this incident behind him, and in the meantime he will continue to meet every requirement set forth by the Court."
According to an eyewitness account and video of the incident, a member of the crowd at the annual KFEST concert threw something at Akon. He asked the crowd for help identifying that person, who was brought up on stage by security. Akon then lifted the 15-year-old boy on his shoulders and threw him back into the crowd. Akon's attorney is Benjamin Brafman, whose past clients include Diddy and Michael Jackson. A civil lawsuit has also been filed against Akon by the woman upon whom the 15-year-old landed.