The 30 Biggest Criminal Trials in Rap History

2. The People of the State of New York v. Tupac Shakur (1994)

Crime: Sexual Abuse
Verdict: Guilty
Sentence: Served eight months at Clinton Correctional Facility in New York.

Tupac was arrested in 1993 on charges of first-degree sexual abuse, weapons possession, and sodomy. A 19-year-old fan, who had previously engaged in a sexual relationship with Shakur at a Manhattan nightclub, reported that she had been in a room at the Parker Meridien Hotel with Shakur when a group of men joined them, and he forced her to perform oral sex on the group.

Pac and his manager were taken into custody. The trial lasted through 1995 and 1996. At one point, two jurors were removed after it was discovered they harbored a prejudice against Shakur for his music.

The victim’s rendition of events suggested that Pac had pulled her hair and removed her clothes while his associates took advantage of her. The defense, who called only one witness to the stand, contended that the victim, who had seen Tupac with another woman, was jealous and used the rape allegation as revenge.

During the trial, Tupac was shot and robbed at Quad Studios in Manhattan. The jury, which had been sequestered, was unaware of what occurred until Tupac (against the wishes of his doctors) appeared in court in a wheelchair and bandages. Later on, Tupac was found guilty of sexual assault, but acquitted of the charges involving the gun and sodomy, which the jury felt hadn’t been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

During sentencing, Tupac apologized, although clarified that he wasn’t apologizing for anything criminal. Jack Agnant, who was also present at the scene of the crime, was tried separately. Tupac went to jail for eight months; Jack Agnant, known as Hatian Jack, would be tried separately.

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