Kevin Gates is still facing battery charges for kicking a female fan in Florida last summer. His motion to dismiss the case on the basis of the infamous “Stand Your Ground” law has been denied.
Last summer, many winced as they watched footage of Kevin Gates viciously delivering a kick to the chest of a teenage female fan, who had been pulling on his shorts while he was performing near the front of the stage at a venue in Lakeland, Florida. Within a week of the incident, he was charged with battery.
Earlier this year, Gates turned some heads when he invoked Florida’s Stand Your Ground law — most infamously used to justify George Zimmerman’s killing of Trayvon Martin — to argue that the charges against him should be dropped on the basis that he acted in self-defense.
The judge presiding over the case, Sharon Franklin, has now ruled that Gates’ response to the fan pulling on his shorts twice does not qualify as self-defense and is thus not protected by her state’s Stand Your Ground law. The Stand Your Ground law is meant to ensure a person’s right to self-defense in incidents in which one faces an “imminent threat, death, or great bodily injury,” reports The Ledger.
“While a simple act of touching or pushing someone without his or her consent may amount to simple battery, the Court finds that such a minor act does not necessarily rise to such a level as to justify the use of force in return,” Franklin wrote in her decision to deny Gates’ motion to dismiss the case.
The judge also took issue with Gates claiming that he often fears for himself and his children while performing, as footage reportedly shows that he allowed a small child to be on stage with him for much of the concert in question. “Defendant testified that he is always scared for his safety at his shows because of death threats he’s received, yet he allowed a very young child to not only walk out on stage with him but allowed this child to remain on the stage for the entire performance,” Franklin wrote.
The next hearing for the case will take place on Aug. 25, and a trial date has not yet been set. If convicted on the misdemeanor battery charge, Gates could face up to a year in a Polk County jail.