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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Mike Bedigan

Rapper Tory Lanez given 10 years behind bars for shooting Megan Thee Stallion

Canadian rapper Tory Lanez has been handed a 10 year prison sentence for an act of “heinous violence” and a “multi-year campaign of harassment” against US hip hop star Megan Thee Stallion.

The WAP star was put “through hell” by 31-year-old Lanez in the years after the incident in July 2020, leaving her “intimidated and scared”, a court heard.

Lanez, real name Daystar Peterson, was handed the jail term on Tuesday at a court in Los Angeles, following a lengthy sentencing hearing.

He was convicted of three felonies: assault with a semi-automatic firearm, having a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle and discharging a firearm with gross negligence in December.

During the trial, the court heard how Lanez had fired a gun at the rapper’s feet and shouted for her to dance as she walked away from an SUV they had been riding in, following a party at Kylie Jenner’s Hollywood Hills home.

Two of the bullets hit her in the foot.

Lanez, who sat in the court in an orange prison jumpsuit on Tuesday, did not seem to react as the sentence was read out.

Edward Welbourn, for the prosecution, said that Megan Thee Stallion, real name Megan Pete, had been “lucky” on the night of the shooting, which occurred on July 12 2020.

“This was a heinous act of violence against a defenceless woman and a multi-year campaign of harassment,” Mr Welbourn told the court.

“Megan got lucky that night, but her luck shouldn’t negate (Lanez’s) culpability… her luck is not his luck.

“You know what Megan didn’t do? She didn’t shoot anybody. She didn’t embark on a campaign of disinformation.”

Noting that Lanez had fired five shots in total at the WAP singer, he added: “This is as serious as it gets.

“If Megan had died, we would be here for a murder sentencing. And she could have died.”

Megan Thee Stallion gave evidence in person during the trial, and in a statement on Monday said she had “not experienced a single day of peace” since the incident.

Noting her absence from the hearing on Tuesday, Mr Welbourn continued: “(Lanez) put Megan through hell while this case was pending.

“She thinks about this case every single day. She was too intimidated and too scared to be in the same courtroom as the defendant.

“She will be affected by this for the rest of her life.

“He asks the court for mercy, but where was the mercy for Megan?”

Lanez chose to address the court before his sentence was delivered, saying he still considered himself and Megan Thee Stallion “friends”.

“I think there has been this misconception about me being this monster or not having any remorse,” he said.

“That night was a night that everyone was drunk… I said some very immature things.

“If I could turn back the series of events… I would, but I can’t.

“But to think that I am some sort of callous individual is not the case. The victim was my friend… (and) she still is to this day.

“I did wrong that night and I take full responsibility and culpability for it.”

Sentencing Lanez, Superior Court judge David Herriford noted his work in the community and philanthropic efforts, but said: “Sometimes good people do bad things.

“Tragically what Mr Peterson did has changed so many people’s lives. Actions have consequences (and) there are no winners in this case.”

Lawyers for Lanez say they plan to appeal the sentence, though the rapper was previously denied a new trial by judge Herriford in May.

Following the sentence, Los Angeles district attorney George Gascon said: “Over the past three years, Mr Peterson has engaged in a pattern of conduct that was intended to intimidate Ms Pete and silence her truths from being heard.

“Women, especially black women, are afraid to report crimes like assault because they are too often not believed.

“I commend Megan Pete for her incredible bravery and vulnerability as she underwent months of probing investigation and court appearances where she had to relive her trauma, and the public scrutiny that followed.

“This case highlighted the numerous ways that our society must do better for women.”

Representatives for Megan Thee Stallion have been approached for comment.

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