(Updates with Toronto police and Bieber's not guilty plea to
By Allison Martell
TORONTO Jan 29 Canadian pop star Justin Bieber
will be charged with assault in Toronto over an incident in
December involving a limousine driver, the Canadian Broadcasting
Corporation said on Wednesday, citing unidentified police
The broadcaster said Bieber was expected to arrive in
Toronto on Wednesday and be formally charged.
Bieber's representatives declined to comment on the report.
Toronto police said on their Twitter feed that they cannot
confirm information in the media about Bieber, but journalists
were gathered outside Toronto's 52 division police station,
where the report said he was expected to turn himself in.
Staff Sergeant Deb Abbott at the station said she could not
comment but that if someone notable were charged, police would
issue a press release and there would be no press conference.
Bieber, 19, has been in trouble with authorities in the
United States this month. He was charged with driving under the
influence in Miami after police caught him drag racing a rented
Lamborghini. He told police he had taken prescription medicine,
had been smoking marijuana and had consumed alcohol.
According to court records, he pleaded not guilty on
Wednesday to those charges in a written plea submitted by his
lawyer. If convicted, Bieber could face up to six months in
prison, although experts say he is likely to receive a lighter
sentence because it would be his first offence.
Bieber is scheduled to make a court appearance on Feb. 14 to
formally answer the charges. He was also charged with driving on
an expired license and resisting arrest without violence.
Bieber, a native of Ontario, Canada, first shot to fame as a
child when his mother posted YouTube videos of him singing. He
became a musical and social media sensation with a devoted
following of young, mainly female fans.
The "Boyfriend" singer's life off-stage has been rocky in
the last year with problems ranging from scuffling with
paparazzi in London to a felony investigation into whether he
pelted a neighbor's house with eggs in his gated community near
Also On Wednesday, a online petition asking the Obama
administration to deport Bieber after his Miami arrest from the
United States, passed the 100,000 signature threshold required
for a White House response.
Bieber was unlikely to be deported because federal law
dictates that a visa can only be revoked or denied for a
conviction of a violent crime with a minimum one year prison
(With additional reporting by Natalie Armstrong in Toronto and
Piya Sinha-Roy in Los Angeles and Zachary Fagenson in Miami;
Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Grant McCool)