Justin Bieber’s eventful 2013 could see him deported from the US if he is convicted of assault and or battery, according to an Immigration official who took time out from deporting people to talk to tabloid magazine Star.
Before anyone gets too excited, at least three of the criminal investigations involving the 19-year-old have come to nothing.
The “Beauty and a Beat” singer was recently absolved of all responsibility for an alleged hit-and-run incident that occurred in June.
He was also proven to be mistakenly accused of speeding in his Calabasas, Calif., neighborhood after security video footage revealed he wasn’t driving.
In addition, the Los Angeles Times reports the chances of Justin being prosecuted for battery are slim to non-existent after a neighbor in his neighborhood claimed the teen spat at and threatened to kill him after an argument back in March.
However, Bieber has been named in four ongoing assault claims.
Two of these involve paparazzo who claim they had memory cards from their cameras removed by Bieber’s bodyguards outside a Miami recording studio in June.
One of the paparazzo’s also alleged he was choked and strangled by the star’s bodyguards.
A civil rather than criminal lawsuit seeking monetary damages has also been launched against the pop star by a paparazzo, who claims he was assaulted in a Calabasas shopping center parking lot after he took photos of Justin and his then girlfriend Selena Gomez in May 2012.
The original assault claim did not result in charges against Bieber after Los Angeles authorities decided there was insufficient, corroborative evidence.
The third alleged assault triggered an ongoing police investigation following a brawl in the parking lot outside South Pointe nightclub in Southampton, New York, on August 4.
At first the accuser, Wayne Rennalls, only named Bieber’s bodyguards in his report to police. He has since wiidened his claim and says the singer “kicked” him during the alleged assault.
It’s claimed tensions at the club ignited from the Bieber’s security team’s “heavy-handed” reaction to Rennalls’ request for the return of a bow tie from a waitress he had loaned it to, who eventually left the club with the teen star.
Rennalls was later treated at a medical center. He is also suing Bieber in a personal injury lawsuit.
The fourth allegation stems from an assault and battery claim that was filed in January this year by the pop star’s ex-bodyguard Moshe Benabou who alleges the singer punched him and yelled at him before a concert in October 2012. A trial date of February 18, 2014 has been set.
Other allegations that have been made against Bieber over the past five months, notably from an Ohio DJ who claims the singer spat and swore at him. As yet, no charges have been filed by the DJ.
“If Justin is convicted of assault or battery, he could be refused admission to the United States or be placed into removal proceedings from the United States,” immigration attorney Richard Yemm told US magazine Star.
So, in reality, how likely is it that Bieber could be doing the walk of shame back to Ontario?
Well, the alleged battery and assault cases are just that, alleged. So, speculation about deportation is premature to say the least.
Under the current laws of the US immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), any non-citizen who commits an aggravated felony or a crime considered to involve moral turpitude, can be eligible for deportation, or as it’s more commonly called — removal.
For immigration purposes, battery is an aggravated felony. However, as previously mentioned, it’s thought Bieber is unlikely to be charged for battery by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Crimes of moral turpitude refer to acts a court thinks violate the accepted moral standards of the community. Typically, they include perjury, tax evasion, wire fraud, carrying a concealed weapon, and child abuse.
In one of the alleged assault cases filed by a paparazzo who encountered Bieber and his security team outside Miami’s Hit Factory Recording Studio, he claims one of the bodyguards “displayed” a gun during the alleged attack.
However, even if proved true, it would still take an extraordinary lawyer to nail Bieber for a gun he wasn’t actually carrying.
One proviso with deportation of foreigners convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, is that it must have been committed within five years of admission to the US and be able to impose a prison sentence of one year or longer.
Deportation also becomes possible if an individual is convicted of more than one crime involving moral turpitude arising from separate actions.
So, yes, if Bieber is convicted of assault or battery he could in theory be sent packing to Canada as he began residing in the US in 2008, which is within the five year condition.
Having said all the above, the intention behind Star’s story and its utterly unconvincing ‘cold day in hell’ purported Bieber ‘quote,’ is more about the echo chamber filling in the gaps until the popster’s next big mishap. It’s also unlikely the US government would turn say no to all the tax he pays, even in the event the allegations turn out to be genuine and result in a conviction.