July 27, 2004
TORONTO - Ja Rule appeared in a Toronto court and was released on $7,500 bail on an assault charge. The 28-year-old rapper, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, didn't enter a plea Monday on the charge of assault causing bodily harm. He's scheduled to return to Provincial Court Aug. 30 for a trial date to be set.
There is a court-ordered publication ban on the evidence, although police said earlier the charges stem from an incident at a Toronto nightclub on June 5.
Atkins, of Saddle River, N.J., signed autographs for fans outside court before driving away in a tinted car with his lawyer and two bodyguards.
His lawyer, Steven Skurka, said the publication ban was standard procedure to prevent having the trial heard "before a man ever walks into a courtroom."
"(It's) to protect an accused person from having information released. There's already been false information released about these allegations," Skurka said.
According to his bail conditions, Atkins is not to consume alcohol while in Canada, contact the alleged victim and witnesses or be in the downtown entertainment district unless it's for work.
He's been in Toronto often this year while shooting "Assault on Precinct 13." His films also include "Half Past Dead" and "The Fast and the Furious."