A criminal assault charge against Justin Bieber in a case involving an alleged assault of a limousine driver has been withdrawn by a Toronto judge.
In plain English, the case against Bieber has been dropped.
The 20-year-old pop star was not present at the Monday hearing at a Toronto court and was not required to be as his lawyer Brian H. Greenspan said in previous press briefings.
CP24 reported the judge in the case agreed to withdraw the one count of assault against the singer after the crown said there was no reasonable chance of conviction.
A trial date had not yet been set.
BREAKING: Judge agrees to assault charges against Justin Bieber being withdrawn after crown says no reasonable chance of conviction.
— CP24 (@CP24) September 8, 2014
The assault charge arose after an accusation of an altercation between a limousine driver and a passenger in the early hours of December 30, 2013.
The alleged altercation took place after a party of six people – reportedly, including Bieber – were picked up outside a Toronto nightclub.
Toronto Police Service alleged one of the passengers struck the limousine driver several times on the back on his head during an alleged altercation. The driver then stopped the limousine and called the police.
At the time, the police said the passenger left the scene before they arrived.
On January 29, Bieber turned himself in at a Toronto police station to be charged, amid a scrum of fans and press.
That same day, Howard Weitzman – who represents the singer in Los Angeles – released a statement saying Justin was “innocent” of the assault charge. It was later claimed there were witnesses to corroborate the singer’s “innocence.”
In court today, prosecutor David Mitchell told the judge:
“The Crown would be required to prove that an intentional application of force occurred, as well as who applied that force.”
“There were a number of people in the vehicle seated behind the driver at the time of the incident, and the Crown is not in a position to establish the identification of the person who came into contact with the complainant beyond a reasonable doubt based on the evidence available.”
Greenspan said his client was “relieved” to be cleared, the National Post reports.
The lawyer said the police did their job in investigating the complaint, and the Crown made the right decision based on the resulting evidence.
Greenspan continued, “This is an example of the system working effectively and properly.”
He went on to say he was “pleased” with the decision.
The lawyer added it had always been the defense’s position that Bieber was innocent and that the case had no merit.
When asked by one reporter who he thought had allegedly assaulted the limousine driver, Greenspan said they believed the driver was not assaulted by anyone connected with the singer — or at all.
At the time of the incident, Toronto Police Constable Victor Kwong said he believed Bieber was in the limo at the time of the alleged attack.
“But whether he’s the guy who did the actual assaulting, I don’t know,” he said.
The withdrawing of this assault charge comes at a timely moment for Bieber.
Last week, the singer was involved in a reported collision between an ATV he drove – with girlfriend Selena Gomez as sole passenger — and a minivan occupied by paparazzi on a country road near Bieber’s hometown Stratford on Friday, August 29.
On Tuesday, (Sep. 2), the Ontario Provincial Police said Bieber was arrested and charged with dangerous driving and assault on Monday (Sep. 1) due to the collision and an alleged assault between the singer and one of two photogs.
OPP Constable Kees Wijnands told press that Justin was released on a promise to appear (or his lawyer) at a court in Ontario on September 29.
Statements from Bieber’s lawyers blamed the incident on “the unwelcome presence of the paparazzi” and blasted photogs for interrupting the “peaceful retreat” of Justin and Selena. The pair jetted to Ontario on August 27.
Further details emerged Tuesday.
TMZ reported sources in Bieber’s camp said there was a collision, but deny an assault or physical altercation took place between the singer and the paparazzo. The insiders claim the paparazzi did not get out of the minivan, but continued to take photos of the couple.
According to the sources, Bieber told the paparazzi to get off the property. It’s claimed the land the couple rode on belongs to Jeremy Bieber, and the photogs allegedly trespassed in order to obtain pictures of them to sell.
[Note: Jeremy Bieber is Justin’s father.]
During the site’s report, the sources claimed Canada has a particular approach to charges. It was said that when one party accuses another in Canada, charges are automatically laid against the accused — then a full investigation takes place.
As was seen in the Toronto [alleged] assault case, the “charge first, investigate after” legal process is exactly what transpired.
Bieber and his lawyers reportedly intend to fight the new charges in court, which — as of now — is the singer’s only active case in Canada.
So when @justinbieber is charged with crimes he didn’t commit it’s worldwide news. But when all charges are dropped it’s no where. Smh
— Scooter Braun (@scooterbraun) September 8, 2014
The singer also reacted after the news broke by posting a slew of mostly shirtless snaps and light-hearted gym videos on Instagram.
(Photo: Bieber and Gomez surprised Toronto shoppers as they held hands walking around the Eaton and Holt Renfrew Shopping Centers on Saturday, September 6, before they hit the streets.)
[Image via PacificCoastNewsOnline.]