Chris Brown Pleads Guilty to Assault, Gets Probation
Chris Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault involving his former girlfriend, Rihanna, but will not face jail time in a plea deal announced at Monday's preliminary hearing.
Brown will be sentenced to five years' probation and 180 days of community service, Rihanna's lawyer, Donald Etra, told TVGuide.com. Brown must also enroll in a domestic violence counseling program and is also ordered to stay at least 50 yards away from Rihanna except at industry events, where it's 10 yards. He will be formally sentenced Aug. 5.
Rihanna was at the hearing, Etra said, and was "ready and willing to testify if necessary." She appeared in the courtroom to be informed of the stay-away order, which came despite a request by Etra to allow contact between the singers.
"I reiterated that request today, but the judge said at least until sentencing in August, a stay-away was appropriate," Etra said. "After August, the judge left open the window that the stay-away could be reduced."
If Brown violates probation, he faces four years in prison, according to Etra.
Los Angeles Criminal Court Judge Patricia Schnegg told Brown he could perform his community labor in his home state of Virginia. "I want Mr. Brown treated as any other defendant who comes to this court. That means something like Caltrans [trash pickup] or graffiti removal, and a two-week domestic violence program," she said.
Brown previously pleaded not guilty to felony charges of assault and making criminal threats. He turned himself in to police the night of the Grammy Awards on Feb. 8. Police said a woman, who was later identified as Rihanna, reported she had been attacked by Brown hours before the show.
TVGuide.com's calls to Brown's attorney were not immediately returned.