July 26, 2004 02:00 PM

Ja Rule surrendered to Toronto police and was charged with assault on Monday, following an incident last month at a downtown club in the Canadian city.

The hip-hop star (real name: Jeffrey Atkins), 28, briefly appeared in court and was released on bail of slightly more than $7,500, Reuters reports.

The judge also was quick to grant a media gag order in the case and ordered the rapper to return to court Aug. 30.

Defense lawyer Steven Skurka told reporters outside the courthouse that he sought the news-coverage ban in order to prevent this “matter (from being) tried before the man ever enters the courtroom.”

Said Skurka: “There’s no celebrity justice (in Canada). You don’t get treated differently in this country if your name is Martha, Michael or Ja Rule. Everyone is treated the same, and he’ll be treated fairly.”

The gruff-voiced rapper, whose hits include duets with Jennifer Lopez and Ashanti, was making a film in Toronto when the alleged incident occurred on June 5, according to his manager.

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