Dancehall artiste Deva Bratt Arrested by US Cop

Having had problems in Jamaica when he was charged with rape on two occasions, dancehall artiste Deva Bratt has found himself in more legal problems in the United States.

The 35-year-old artiste, real name Sheldon Owen Smith, was charged with battery last month in the Boca Raton, a city in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. Battery means any intentional touching or striking of another person against that person's will (non-consensual), or. the intentional causing of bodily harm to another person.

According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, Smith was booked on March 20 this year and released the following day on his own recognisance. There was no bond for his bail.

When contacted, an officer at the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said Smith has a pending court date but could not give an exact date. The officer also declined to state the allegations against Smith.

But this is not the first time Smith has found himself in problems with the law, as in February 2008 he was charged with the rape of a 14-year-old girl. He was later freed.

That was his second such offence of that nature, as he also had a previous sexual offence charge involving a minor that was also dropped after the judge said there was no evidence against him as the 15-year-old complainant in the matter was said to have migrated and the investigating officer could not locate her.

However, things seemed to change when in November 2013, it was reported that Smith had received his US visa and was available to perform in the country.

In a STAR story about receiving the visa, he was quoted, "This is an opportunity that every artiste wants and should perhaps have. We don't make a lot of money in Jamaica, so it's an opportunity for which I give thanks. I will be on my Ps and Qs, it's the best way to move forward and I would never do anything to mess up this. I don't have a lot of hot songs right now, but my fans have been eager to see me in the US."

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