Soca Star Machel Montano Faces Jail Time

Machel Montano, l, with Harry Belafonte at the NY Carnival, September 2012. (NAN file photo/Hayden Roger Celestin)
News Americas, PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Weds. Dec. 12, 2012: Trinidad & Tobago-born soca star, Machel Montano, HD, is facing a maximum of five years in prison for assault.

The singer, the island’s 2012 Power Soca Monarch and Road March king, was on Monday found guilty of four charges of assaulting Russell Pollonais, Brandis Browne, Janelle Lee Chee, and Gerard Bowrin during a brawl outside the Zen nightclub in Port of Spain on April 26, 2007.
Montano was also found guilty of using obscene language that night by Magistrate Maureen Baboolal-Gafoor.

Also found guilty of assaulting Pollonais and Browne was Kernal Roberts, the son of the late calypso icon Lord Kitchener.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, in commenting on the guilty verdict of the singer, who was used to stir the patriotism of citizens during the nation’s 50th anniversary of Independence celebrations, noted: “I am very sorry for what has happened. I think he is a great musical icon. We all agree on that. We are very proud of his talent, but when you break the law, you have to pay for it.”

Montano for his part has kept his legal battle off the pages of his website, using December 12, 2012 to release “Indian Gyal,” a collaboration with Drupatee Ramgoonai that comes exactly 12 years after the culturally epic “Real Unity.”

Montano returns to court on January 17th for sentencing. He remains free on bail.