Chris Brown was formally sentenced today in Los Angeles after pleading guilty on June 22nd to assault charges stemming from his February 8th altercation with Rihanna. As expected, Brown was sentenced to five years of formal felony probation, 180 days of community labor and the completion of a 52-week domestic violence counseling program. The sentencing was originally scheduled for August 5th, but the judge presiding over the case wanted a clearer picture of Brown's hard labor schedule before handing down the official penalty. Brown will fulfill his sentence in his native Virginia.
Brown was also fined a total of $2,960. The judge reiterated that she wanted Brown to complete 180 days of community labor and not community service, meaning Brown had to do tasks such as graffiti removal, washing cars, cleaning and maintaining grounds and garbage pickup. The chief of police in Richmond, Virginia, wrote a letter to the judge stating that he would make sure Brown is keeping up with his community labor. Brown was also told to surrender any dangerous weapons, including firearms and knives.
A "protective order" preventing Brown from being near or contacting Rihanna was also kept in place. Brown was ordered to remain 100 yards away from Rihanna for the next five years, except if both singers happen to be at same entertainment-related event. If that situation occurs, the judge order the two to maintain a 10-yard distance. The judge hinted to Brown that she had heard the rumors that Brown and Rihanna had perhaps reconciled or at least were in contact with one another, but warned Brown to adhere to the statutes listed in the protective order. Rihanna's lawyer Donald Etra was in attendance, and made no effort to have the protective order revoked.
As Rock Daily previously reported, Brown avoided jail time by reaching a plea bargain with the prosecution. Brown was initially charged with felony assault by means likely to create great bodily injury and a felony charge of making a criminal threat. If found guilty by a jury of those charges, Brown faced a possible sentence of nine years in prison. Instead, after months of talks between the Los Angeles District Attorney and Brown's lawyer Mark Geragos, the plea bargain deal was worked out.
The judge also scheduled a November 19th date for Brown to appear in court as a "progress report" to make sure the singer is fulfilling his sentence.