Gospel Artist James Fortune Pleads Guilty to Assaulting His Wife

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Grammy-nominated recording artist, James Fortune, has pleaded guilty to assaulting his wife. Fortune is best known for his 2008 hit, "I Trust You."

He accepted a plea deal Tuesday to a third degree felony charge of assault. He was sentenced to five years of probation plus five days in jail. He must also serve 175 hours of community service, complete a "batterer's intervention" program and stay away from his wife.

Authorities say Fortune struck his wife with a wooden vanity stool, kicked her and threw her against a wall inside their home in October of 2014.

In court, a prosecutor read a victim impact statement form Fortune's wife in which she wrote, "I hope in all of this you get help. Serious help. Although this probation might be like a slap on the wrist, I hope you look at it as a moment to better yourself and change something within you for your future."

This is the second time Fortune has pleaded guilty to a charge of violence against a family member. In 2002 he took a plea deal for six years of probation after burning his four-year-old son in hot water. Investigators said Fortune said it was a form of discipline. The boy was burned over 40 percent of his body.

Prosecutors say Fortune's wife agreed to the plea deal this time because she didn't want to put their three kids through the stresses of trial and the possibility of testifying against him.


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