Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chris Brown sentenced to 5 years probation for assault of Rihanna

Los Angeles (myFOXla.com) - R&B singer Chris Brown was sentenced today to five years probation and 180 days of community labor for assaulting his then- girlfriend Rihanna after a pre-Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.

As part of his sentence, Brown must also complete a one-year domestic violence counseling program. Brown, 20, pleaded guilty to assault June 22, admitting that he assaulted Rihanna during an argument that began around 12:30 a.m. Feb. 8, while the couple were in a rented Lamborghini on North June Street near First Street.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg agreed to allow Brown to perform his community labor -- meaning highway cleanup, litter removal or other work -- in Virginia, where he lives. He will also be allowed to attend a domestic violence counseling program in that state. Schnegg said she expected to receive regular reports from the chief of police in Richmond, Va., to ensure Brown was complying with all the terms of his sentence.

As part of the sentence, Schnegg also ordered Brown to stay at least 100 yards away from Rihanna, unless they are both attending an entertainment industry function, when the restriction would be lowered to 10 yards. "Any violation of this protective order is a violation of your probation," Schnegg told Brown, who said he understood.

Schnegg also warned him that if he violates any term of probation, he could serve time behind bars. The charge "does come with a potential of state prison if you should violate in any way," the judge said. Brown is due back in court for a progress hearing on Nov. 19. Rihanna was not in court for the sentencing hearing, but her attorney, Donald Etra, was present.

At the time of the attack, Brown and Rihanna were en route to a home in the Hancock Park area following a pre-Grammy Awards party. The singers were scheduled to attend the Grammy ceremony, but both were no-shows. Brown later turned himself in at a Los Angeles police station, where he was arrested and freed on bail. A photo of Rihanna, with visible injuries to her face, was leaked to an entertainment Web site several days later, prompting the Los Angeles Police Department to launch an internal investigation.

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