[artist id="1961441"]Chris Brown[/artist]'s attorney filed a motion on Wednesday asking the Los Angeles Police Department to turn over all the written statements and reports in connection with the department's investigation into the leak of the photo of a battered Rihanna.
According to TMZ, Geragos believes the now-infamous photo of Rihanna — in which her face appears bruised and battered following an alleged February 8 altercation with then-boyfriend Brown — was leaked by an LAPD officer. In the motion, Geragos claimed, "This highly prejudicial photograph was sold by an LAPD officer to the entertainment website, Thirty Mile Zone (TMZ)."
The photo was widely circulated on the Internet and set off an internal investigation at the LAPD into how it was obtained, the results of which have not been revealed. Geragos is reportedly seeking notes from the Internal Affairs probe, along with notes from the 25 officers and LAPD personnel who handled the case and other documents that he intends to use "at the preliminary hearing to attack their credibility. The defense intends to prove and argue that the aforementioned officers are not credible and that the Court should not believe some of their statements." A call to Geragos for comment on the motion was not returned at press time, and an LAPD spokesperson said the department does not comment on ongoing investigations. A spokesperson for the Los Angeles District Attorney's office had also not returned calls for comment at press time.
Brown, 20, has been charged with two felony counts in the case — assault and making criminal threats — and remains free on bail following his arrest on the night of the alleged incident. The singer pleaded not guilty to the charges. Geragos is attempting to discredit the credibility of police witnesses and possibly have the case dismissed at an upcoming preliminary hearing in June. He wrote in the motion that if the court has any questions about the credibility of the investigating officers, "I believe there is a reasonable likelihood that the case will be dismissed at the preliminary hearing."
Regardless of whether an LAPD officer leaked the photo, as Geragos suggests, the attorney believes that the leak has irreparably damaged his client's case, according to The Associated Press.
"The purpose of the leak was necessarily for profit and to vilify Mr. Brown and poison the potential jury pool," Geragos wrote in his motion of the photo, which he claims was seen by "hundreds of thousands of viewers" and which can still be seen in multiple stories on the TMZ site, including its report on this motion. The AP reported that Geragos is seeking files on officers, detectives, supervisors, criminalists and a forensic photographer, as well as information about any misconduct complaints others have filed against officers in other cases. A judge is scheduled to hear the motions on May 28.
If convicted in the case, Brown could be sentenced to anything from probation to nearly five years in state prison.