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Ja Rule to face assault charge in spring

Trial tentatively set for March in Toronto
/ Source: The Associated Press

Rapper Ja Rule will return to Toronto next spring to face a charge of assault causing bodily harm, a Canadian court ruled at a pretrial hearing.

A trial for the 28-year-old performer, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, has been tentatively set for March 7-11 in Ontario Court. The rapper didn’t attend Wednesday’s hearing.

Ja Rule, known for hits such as “Holla Holla,” is accused of being part of a June 5 altercation at La Rouge Nightclub in the heart of Toronto’s club district.

A publication ban has been placed on evidence and details surrounding the charge to prevent prejudicing the jury pool before the trial, a standard move in Canadian courts.

Lawyers will return to court Tuesday to finalize the date. Co-counsel Marie Henein asked for time to contact her New Jersey-based client to ensure that he’d be able to attend the duration of the Toronto trial.

His lawyers have said the rapper will plead not guilty.