Daniel Hernandez, who has scored a series of streaming hits in the last 12 months rapping as Tekashi 6ix9ine, was sentenced to four years probation in Manhattan court on Friday. During that time, he must also complete 1,000 hours of community service and avoid both additional arrests and any gang activity.
The sentence is a victory for the rapper: Earlier this year, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office was pushing for him to spend one to three years in state prison and register as a sex offender, according to Pitchfork.
Hernandez’s legal troubles date back to 2015, when he admitted to using a 13-year-old child in a sexual performance as part of a “youthful offender” plea deal. Under the terms of that deal, the case would eventually be closed if he remained on good behavior for two years. He was also required to get his GED and finish 300 hours of community service.
However, Hernandez was arrested twice during 2018. In May, he was taken into custody after allegedly attacking a 16-year-old in Texas. The same month, he was also arrested in Brooklyn for allegedly driving with an expired license and then assaulting a police officer following that arrest.
The rapper’s lawyers argued that the two-year period during which the rapper was supposed to keep his nose clean expired before the recent arrests. In addition, Hernandez’s lawyer, Dawn Florio, told the Daily News that she hoped to prove to Judge Felicia Mennin all the “additional wonderful things that our client has done.”
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“He’s a young man that was put into a position that very few people are used to being in,” added Stephen Murphy, another member of Hernandez’s legal team. “He’s got a million people pulling at him in every single direction — I don’t know if any of us could deal with this all of a sudden.”
Those “million people” are a side effect of becoming a rap star: None of the legal trouble has prevented Hernandez from scoring hits. In the last year, he has repeatedly launched tracks onto the Hot 100. His biggest hit to date, “Fefe” with Nicki Minaj, peaked at Number Three; it has already been certified double platinum. This week, it remained inside the top twenty on the chart.
On Friday, Hernandez attempted to convince the judge that he was contrite about his past sexual actions. “I have millions of kids, youth, around the world that look up to me as a role model,” he said in a statement. “I’m trying to convince the world that I’m a human being.”