Chris Brown Gets Five Years Probation for Beating Rihanna

Celebrity News Jun. 22, 2009 AT 4:57PM
Chris Brown Chris Brown arrives to the court house in Los Angeles on June 22, 2009. Credit: Splash News

Chris Brown pleaded guilty to one count of felony assault against Rihanna in a downtown Los Angeles Courtroom Monday.

As part of the plea bargain, the singer, 20, will receive five years probation and spend 180 days doing community labor in Virginia.

Brown will also move home to Virginia, his lawyer, Mark Geragos, announced in court, but will return to California once every three months for updates.

During his probation, he must also obey a protective order, which means he cannot harm or harrass Rihanna, and a stay-away order, which requires him to stay at least 50 yards away from Rihanna at all times. Rihanna did not have to testify.

Brown arrived at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center at 1:30 PDT this afternoon for the hearing. He was escorted inside by eight uniformed officers and a bodyguard.

See photos of stars in court

Brown -- who donned a gray striped suit, brown shoes and striped tie -- appeared solemn, according to a witness. His mother followed behind him. The duo were both looking down.

Rihanna wore a black dress, sunglasses and pearls to the hearing, but was not in the courtroom when the judge handed down his decision to Brown.

After Brown left the courtroom, Rihanna entered through a private entrance. She and her lawyer, Donald Etra, discussed the protective order with Judge Patricia Schnegg.

Because the two might appear at the same public events, the judge said that in those instances, the 50-yard stay away order would turn into a 10-yard order.

In addition, the judge said that the two-way order prevents Rihanna from contacting Brown at any point. Etra told the judge several times that such a stay-away order was not necessary, but Schnegg said she wanted to be cautious.

Look back at Chris and Rihanna's happier days

Brown turned himself into police in February for allegedly beating Rihanna. He was charged with two felonies. He'll be formally sentenced Aug. 5.

After the hearing, Geragos addressed the media outside the courthouse. "This is a kid who has never been in trouble before, who wants to move past this," his attorney said. "He has accepted responsibility and will continue to do so. He embraces this as an opportunity to get his life back on track and his career back on track."

Geragos said that although Brown wanted to thank his fans, he has restricted the singer from making a statement until after his official sentencing.

Rihanna's lawyer, Etra, also spoke to reporters and said that his client was "feeling fine" after the hearing.

"She was fully prepared to testify, and she would have told he truth about what happened that evening," he said.

He added that he and Rihanna -- who felt the protective order was sufficient but that the stay-away order was unnecessary -- would discuss a reduction in the latter.

Schnegg said she would consider such a change only after the August sentencing.

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