Kanye West entered a plea of no contest to the battery charges brought against him for the assault of paparazzi Daniel Ramos in 2013; the rapper has missed any jail time as his lawyer set up a plea bargain which leaves him open to a lawsuit by the pap photographer. Despite the deal struck by his legal rep, West is still on a two year probation and must have anger management counseling as well as 250 hours of community service.
The 36 year-old singer, songwriter and record producer, maintained that he was innocent of the charge even though photographic evidence appeared to show that Ramos’ claims of assault were true. The paparazzi said that West punched him and grabbed his camera which resulted in Daniel Ramos being knocked onto the ground and injuring his hip during the altercation.
While the plea bargain agreement cannot be used against Kanye West in the upcoming civil lawsuit he is still open to it. Photographer Ramos says that he still needs medication for the injuries he suffered at the hands of West. He also stated that he fears retaliation from the Yeezus singer after Kanye made an appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Live television show.
West made what could be construed as a veiled threat on the show when he told host Kimmel that it was not safe for him, “in this zoo.” This was in answer to a question posed by the host about the paparazzi incident. Kanye also made an allusion to the fact that he was from Chicago.
Kanye West is no stranger to tussles with photographers and the paparazzi. He was arrested in 2008 for a similar incident with a photographer at the same airport where he assaulted Ramos. That incident was dismissed which meant that no plea bargain was required as West paid for the equipment he damaged. This kept the performer from being open to a lawsuit later on.
Earlier in 2014 West’s other assault charge was handled with a civil settlement after he had reacted violently to a racial slur aimed at fiancee Kim Kardashian. The entertainer and entrepreneur may have escaped jail time for this latest infraction but he should look to Chris Brown for guidance on how not to do his community service.
West had been charged originally with battery and grand theft after his run-in with photographer Daniel Ramos outside the LAX airport. Luckily for the rapper, the prosecution opted out of charging Kanye with a felony offense and instead focussed on the lesser charge of a misdemeanor.
This allowed Kanye West’s attorney to pursue a plea bargain which benefited the singer two-fold. He escaped jail time and there was no need for a trial and the subsequent publicity that would have brought the entertainer more negative publicity. He also escaped a fine that could have reached $1,000. Of course Kanye is still open to a civil lawsuit, which Ramos is pursuing, and this could cost the rapper much more in terms of money. The photographer is determined that West be punished for his actions and pointed out that if the shoe had been on the other foot, Ramos would have been imprisoned for the same offense.
By Michael Smith