Grammy-nominated gospel singer James Fortune was arrested for aggravated assault on a family member Oct. 24, according to media reports.
Fortune, 35, was released the following day on a $20,000 bond. The identity of the family member who sustained the alleged assault has not been made public.
According to entertainment website AlwaysAList.com, Fortune released the following public apology to his fans:
“I am truly sorry for the negative attention this situation has brought my wife, family, friends and business partners,” the singer said. “Because it is a pending legal matter, I cannot comment on what has been reported. However, I understand the seriousness of this matter and ask that you respect the privacy of my family as we address this together […] I would also like to thank my fans for their outpouring of love and support.”
According to Washington D.C. gospel radio station Praise 104.1, Fortune intentionally burned his four-year-old stepson in 2001, causing him to sustain second and third degree burns on nearly half of his body.
Fortune pleaded guilty to felony injury to a child and received a six-year period of deferred adjudication, under which he pleaded guilty to the charges in exchange for fulfilling court-mandated requirements within a set amount of time.
The child’s biological father sued Fortune in 2012 for $5 million to cover the boy’s continued plastic surgery needs, according to the radio station.
Fortune currently hosts the “James Fortune Show,” in which he interviews gospel artists and other guests, while also discussing news and entertainment.