Rapper Serius Jones gained national notoriety in the mid-2000s for his success on televised battle rap contests, has accepted a plea deal and a three-year prison term to settle a pimping and human trafficking case in Contra Costa County, court records show.

Serius Jones, pleaded guilty to pimping, dissuading a witness — a strike offense under California law — assault and other related charges. In exchange, prosecutors dropped human trafficking charges against him.

The three-year prison term is eligible for a 50 percent reduction, meaning that with good behavior Bligen will be eligible for release around June 2021. He also must pay $6,000 in restitution and was hit with a 10-year stay away order from the woman who identified him to police as her pimp, prosecutors said.

The Contra Costa District Attorney’s office declined to comment on the plea deal. At the start of the case, Bligen was facing decades in state prison if convicted of all charges.

In an audio recording posted to his Instagram account, Bligen — speaking over a jail phone — apologized to his fans. He also denied the bulk of the allegations against him, saying that police had built a case against him “based on the words of a drug addict.”

“I would never force a woman to do anything against her will. That’s not what I was raised as,” Bligen said on the recording. He later adds, “I’m sorry to my fans, I’m sorry to those who look at this like a disappointment. No one’s more disappointed than me.”

Prosecutors alleged that Bligen assaulted a woman in Walnut Creek and stole a 2007 Lexus from her when she tried to break away from him. The woman later told police she was “working” for Bligen as a prostitute while he traveled between New Jersey, New York, and California, and that she had been a sex worker prior to meeting him.

Bligen’s rap career has spanned nearly 20 years. He gained nationwide fame in the mid-2000s when he appeared on MTV’s Fight Klub, a show that pitted freestyle rappers against one another, and challenged them to make up rhymes about each other on the spot.

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