[artist id="1961441"]Chris Brown[/artist] was formally sentenced in a Los Angeles courtroom Tuesday (August 25) stemming from his February altercation with then-girlfriend [artist id="1940303"]Rihanna[/artist].
The terms of the plea deal the singer agreed to last month in the case are largely the same, including 180 days of community labor work , a year of domestic-abuse counseling and five years’ probation. The judge, however, did not lift the protective order issued against Brown, warning him that he must stay away from Rihanna for five years, until August 25, 2014, when his probation period is over.
Judge Patricia Schnegg then told Brown she is not one to believe hearsay, but she informed the singer she was “not immune from the chatter that has been on the airwaves” about meetings between the couple. When asked if he understood the protective order and the conditions — which require the singer to stay at least 100 yards from Rihanna or 10 yards away from her during music-industry events they both attend — Brown quietly told the judge “yes.”
Brown arrived to the proceedings 10 minutes early and sat next to his attorney, Mark Geragos, without saying much. He wore a dark, pinstripe suit and appeared stern throughout. At one point, he answered the judge prematurely, earning a playful rebuke from Schnegg and he flashed a brief smile.
The proceedings were swift as Schnegg confirmed the previously agreed to conditions, including that Brown complete his labor service and counseling in his home state of Virginia. Schnegg also said that Brown would be supervised directly by the Richmond police chief.
Brown was due to be sentenced earlier this month, but Schnegg said the court needed more time to verify Virginia’s labor-service intensity. Judge Schnegg told Brown she wanted him to do manual labor for his commitment — including graffiti removal, trash pickup and washing vehicles — rather than community service.
The singer will be required to report to a probation officer in Los Angeles and return to California every three months to see Schnegg. Brown is scheduled to appear back in court November 19 to update the judge on his status, which will include proof of his enrollment in a domestic-abuse program by the Commonwealth Catholic Charities. Brown is due to report to probation in 72 hours following Tuesday’s hearing.
In addition to the terms of his plea deal and the protective order, Brown must also pay a number of fees and fines, while also being subject to random searches and seizures.
Rihanna’s attorney, Donald Etra, was also present at the hearing. Rihanna did not press charges against Brown, but her lawyer had attended other court dates since the incident. Etra declined to speak on the nature of his client’s relationship with Brown and would not comment regarding the sentence.
He did say Rihanna was told at the last hearing, which she attended, the conditions of Brown’s plea deal and did not object to the punishment. At the last hearing, Etra stated that Rihanna did not wish to impose the protective order, but the judge said she would keep it. Rihanna may move to modify the terms, Etra explained, but it’s under the court to decide to change it or not.
“There were no surprises in court this afternoon. The court imposed the sentence,” Etra told reporters outside the courthouse. “Rihanna was advised of the plea agreement before it was entered by Mr. Brown. She did not object at that time. The stay-away order was imposed by the court.”