Update: District Attorney Banked on Akon’s Criminal Past for Bail Increase

R&B singer Akon, released without bail Dec. 3 after surrendering to authorities because a background check showed no criminal record, does indeed have a criminal history, according to Dutchess County Assistant District Attorney Anthony Parisi. Akon has been charged in connection to his appearance at the KFEST concert last June, at which he was seen tossing a concert-goer from the stage. Parisi and Akon’s attorney, Andrea Zellan of Manhattan, appeared Wednesday in Fishkill Town Justice Court. Akon’s criminal record includes a 1998 conviction in New Jersey for felony possession of a handgun; a 1997 conviction in Georgia for failing to appear in court; a charge in 1998 in Atlanta of attempting to flee or attempting to elude a police officer; charges of receiving stolen property and first-degree forgery, both from DeKalb County, Ga. in 1998; and a charge of driving with a license that was either suspended or revoked, in Atlanta in 2002, Parisi said. As a result, Parisi Wednesday asked Fishkill Town Justice Harold Epstein to set bail for Akon at $5,000. In making his request for bail, Parisi said Akon has no ties to the community and travels internationally. Judge Epstein said a $5,000 bail would not be a deterrent to Akon, who has sold more than a million records. Epstein declined to set bail, ordered attorneys for both sides to appear before him March 5 and maintained a waiver of Akon’s obligation to appear in court. Grady said an initial background check based on Akon’s name and date of birth turned up no criminal record. Subsequent checks of his fingerprints, taken when he was processed Dec. 3, turned up the rap sheet. The subsequent background checks were made using state and national criminal databases. Akon was arraigned Dec. 3 and entered a plea of not guilty to charges of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor, and second-degree harassment, a violation. Akon faces fines and a year and 15 days in jail if convicted. Source: Poughkeepsie Journal

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