Banton Faces Assault Charges

Buju Banton will face trial next month for his alleged role in an attack against a group of gay men in Jamaica's capital last year, a judge said Friday.

Buju Banton will face trial next month for his alleged role in an attack against a group of gay men in Jamaica's capital last year, a judge said Friday.

The 31 year-old reggae artist and Horace Hill will are accused of beating six men in June 2004 at a home in the Red Hills Road section of Kingston. Both men have pleaded not guilty. They will be tried on Oct. 19

A spokesperson for the local gay rights group, J-Flag, said one of the men reported the matter to the police who on Sept. 23 arrested Banton and Hill. Gay rights groups like the United Kingdom's Outrage! have posted the incident on its Web site.

Banton, a Grammy-nominated performer, has been at odds with gay rights advocates since 1994 when he recorded the homophobic anthem, "Boom Bye Bye," which talks about shooting gays.

Last year, the Rastafarian rapper and popular dancehall acts like Capleton and Sizzla were forced to cancel dates in Europe and North America after protests by gay groups that their music promoted violence against homosexuals.


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