After a series of delays, legal maneuvers, and tumultuous proceedings that have stirred controversy within and beyond hip-hop, a California judge has sentenced rapper Tory Lanez to 10 years in prison for shooting Megan Thee Stallion.
The sentencing comes after a Los Angeles jury, in December, found Lanez guilty of all three charges linked to the July 2020 shooting in Hollywood Hills.
Lanez, who pleaded not guilty, was convicted of assault with a semi-automatic firearm, possession of a loaded unregistered firearm within a vehicle, and reckless discharge of a firearm.
Megan Thee Stallion, whose real name is Megan Pete, had accused Lanez of shooting her in after they exited an SUV they’d been traveling in.
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said since the shooting, Lanez had repeatedly tried to intimidate Megan.
“Through the past three years, [Lanez] engaged in a consistent pattern of behavior aimed at intimidating [Stallion], muzzling her, and obstructing her from defending herself and sharing her version of events,” Gascón said.
“Despite enduring physical violence, verbal assaults, and endeavors to publicly disgrace her, she exhibited remarkable strength by recounting the events of that pivotal night to both the jury and the world.”
The district attorney added that he’s hopeful Megan’s courage would inspire others who confront violence and hesitate to come forward.
“Numerous individuals in our community confront acts of violence from those in close proximity every day, often feeling powerless to come forward,” he stated.
“I trust that [Stallion’s] bravery will kindle a sense of optimism for those grappling with helplessness.”
He also read a statement issued by Megan.
“Every day I think of others across the world who are victims of violence and survive,” the multiple Grammy award-winning artist stated.
“It is truly the most powerless feeling, especially when you question whether the justice system can truly protect you.
“Fortunately, the district attorney’s office fought for me. I’m incredibly grateful to them and the jury for the attention to the evidence and siding with the truth. But if it can happen to me, imagine those who lack the resources and support systems to help them.”
Lanez has vowed to appeal his conviction.
Stacy M. Brown is the NNPA Newswire senior national correspondent.