FISHKILL, N.Y. – Hip-hop star Akon pleaded not guilty Monday to criminal charges filed after he tossed a fan off the stage at a concert earlier this year.
The 34-year-old singer was released on his own recognizance following his brief court appearance in the Dutchess County town of Fishkill. He was charged with misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a minor and second-degree harassment, a violation.
He was charged after a fan said she suffered a concussion when a teenage boy Akon threw off the stage fell on her during the June 3 concert at the local minor league baseball stadium.
The case was adjourned until January.
A town justice told Akon that his lawyer can stand in for him at future court appearances and he does not have to appear. Akon did not comment as he left the courthouse.
"It was never Akon's intention to violate the law," the singer's Manhattan lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said in a written statement released to the media. "This unfortunate incident was a spontaneous reaction during a live concert that Akon deeply regrets."
Concertgoers said that a spectator lobbed something at Akon during his performance at Dutchess Stadium. They said the singer asked the crowd to point out the culprit and a security guard picked out a 15-year-old boy and sent him up to the stage. Akon then hoisted the teen onto his shoulders and flung him into the crowd.
The incident was captured on videotape.
The boy landed on Abby Rosa, who told the Poughkeepsie Journal she was later found to have suffered a concussion.
The musician was criticized in April for having simulated sex with a 14-year-old girl on stage at a concert in Trinidad. He apologized later and said he didn't know the girl was underage.
Akon's latest album, "Konvicted," has sold more than 1 million copies in the United States. His hits include "Don't Matter," "I Wanna Love You" with Snoop Dogg and "Smack That" with Eminem. At the recent American Music Awards, he won favorite male soul/rhythm & blues artist.