The 29-year-old rapper (born Marvin Bernard) appeared at a preliminary hearing before a Manhattan Criminal Court judge to face charges including one count of misdemeanor assault as well as another count of endangering the welfare of a minor.
"After a detailed investigation, I stand here to steadfastly and unequivocally state that Tony Yayo did not slap anyone. The allegations made against him are false and I am sure when the people finish their investigation they will have no alternative but to come to the same conclusion-Yayo is being falsely accused," said Yayo's attorney Scott Leemon via a statement. "Everyone in the public needs to know that Yayo, himself, a parent of a young child, would never do what he is being falsely accused of doing."
Yayo was arrested on March 24, after turning himself in to Manhattan police. Allegedly, on March 20 young Rosemond was headed to the Czar Entertainment offices for his after school internship when Yayo approached him about the Czar t-shirt he was wearing. Yayo was reportedly leaving the offices of Violator Management about the same time.
Supporters of the boy's mother Cynthia Reid gathered outside the courthouse yesterday to hold a rally denouncing Yayo as well as 50 Cent and G-Unit for not condemning the rapper's alleged behavior. Local councilmen, community leaders and relatives of slain rap bodyguard Israel Ramirez were also in attendance.
Yayo has been both literally and figuratively under fire since reports of the incident hit the media. The rapper's mother's Queens, NY home recently came under gunfire while the rapper's sister and niece were inside. Facing further scrutiny about the alleged incident, Yayo was also publicly criticized by Al Sharpton and Hip-Hop Summit Action Network leaders Dr. Benjamin Chavis and Russell Simmons.