A drug charge against Barenaked Ladies singer-guitarist Steven Page was significantly reduced Tuesday by an upstate New York court.
The felony charge was reduced to a misdemeanor and the 38-year-old musician was given what’s called an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, which means the charges will be dismissed if he stays out of trouble for six months.
Page was arrested in July while visiting girlfriend Christine Benedicto and another woman at their suburban Syracuse apartment.
Benedicto and another woman, Stephanie Ford, were charged with misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance. They also had the charge adjourned in contemplation of dismissal; marijuana possession charges against them also were dropped.
Page apologized to his family and fans after his brief appearance in Fayetteville Village Court .
“I’m grateful … for this opportunity to further prove myself as a productive and law-abiding member of society. I look forward to the next six months as a period of healing and growth,” Page said, reading from a statement.
Page did not take any questions.
“It has meant a great deal for me to be shown the impact I have on others’ lives … I am deeply moved and thankful,” Page said. “I also apologize to all those I have hurt and embarrassed during this episode. Respect, responsibility I have earned over the course of my life and my career thus far are important to me, and I am moving forward from this with gratitude and with hope.”
Page had faced up to 5 1/2 years in state prison if he had been convicted of the original charge against him, a felony fourth-degree criminal possession count.
Defense attorney Mark Mahoney said prosecutors agreed to reduce the charges against Page because of his lack of a prior criminal record and because lab analyses showed that the drugs were “lower in quantity and lower in quality” than first suspected.
Page’s arrest came after the band, known for its clean-cut image and cross-generational appeal, released a new album for children titled “Snacktime,” a collection of two dozen original children’s songs.
The band was formed nearly 20 years ago in Toronto. It has released 12 albums, producing hits such as “If I Had $1,000,000,” “Brian Wilson” and “Too Little, Too Late.” The group is known for its whimsical lyrics and comedic banter on stage.