R&B Singer Gets Probation for Assaulting Girlfriend

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Los Angeles—Earlier this week, R&B singer Chris Brown received five years’ probation as well as six months’ community labor in an assault case. In June, Brown pled guilty to felony assault in the beating of his then-girlfriend, pop star Rihanna.

Brown, 20, was arrested in February 2009 after brutally attacking Rihanna in a rented sports car. In an affidavit, a Los Angeles police detective described the attack, claiming that Brown hit, choked and bit Rihanna, and that he tried to push her from the car.

His musical career has suffered since the attack, with radio stations and DJs refusing to play his music and sponsors dropping him. Both Brown and Rihanna were forced to cancel several planned appearances, including performances at the televised Grammy Awards on the day of the incident.

Another felony charge, that of making criminal threats, was dropped during the sentencing hearing on Tuesday.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg also stipulated that Brown must stay 100 yards away from Rihanna, with the exception of music industry events where they might of necessity be placed into close proximity with one another, for the next five years.

Attorneys for Rihanna say that the singer is satisfied with the outcome of the sentencing, and that Rihanna did not object to the stay-away order. Under its terms, the two pop stars could maintain a mere 10-yard distance from one another during music industry events.

If Brown violates any of the terms of his sentence, Schnegg warned, he could be sent to state prison. Compliance with the sentence’s terms, however, could result in the charges being reduced to a misdemeanor.

In a probation report, two other abusive incidents are detailed. One, during which the couple was traveling in Europe, describes Brown shoving Rihanna into a wall after she slapped him; the other took place in a borrowed Range Rover in Barbados, Rihanna’s home country. During that incident, Brown allegedly broke the front and passenger side windows of the vehicle. Neither of these attacks were reported, however.

Rihanna did not attend the sentencing. At one point during the hearing, Brown agreed to the terms of the sentence even before the judge had finished explaining them all.

Brown will serve the sentence in Virginia, and his community labor will be overseen by the police chief in Redmond. Additionally, his community service must consist of physical labor rather than mentoring young performers. The singer will also undergo a year of domestic violence counseling.

 

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