Pop singer Chris Brown was sentenced Tuesday to serve five years probation and more than 1,400 hours in "labor-oriented service" for assaulting his pop star girlfriend, Rihanna.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg said in the sentencing she wants to see Brown conduct “actual physical labor, as opposed to some type of community service.” The sentencing was delayed earlier this month because documents detailing Brown’s proposed community service plan in Virginia, where he maintains a legal residence and wants to serve his sentence, had not arrived in time for Schnegg to review them. Brown’s probation will be overseen by the state of California, the judge said. He must also complete domestic violence counseling. Schnegg has said Brown could apply to have his supervised probation transferred to Virginia and complete his community service there, but it would have to meet the court’s standards. Rihanna was not expected to attend Tuesday’s hearing, which had been set for Thursday before being moved up with short notice. Watch Brown arrive for sentencing » Rihanna — whose real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty — appeared briefly in court in June after Brown admitted in a plea deal that he was guilty of a felony assault. Brown’s probation requires that he complete domestic violence counseling. The judge said Brown cannot have contact with Rihanna again until it is completed.
Rihanna: Chris Brown may come closer to me
FindLaw: Read the felony complaint
Brown, 20, was arrested in February after an early morning argument inside a rented Lamborghini on a Hollywood street. The incident began when Rihanna, who was riding in the sports car driven by Brown, found a text message on his cell phone from “a woman who Brown had a previous sexual relationship with,” according to a sworn statement by Los Angeles Police Detective DeShon Andrews. “A verbal argument ensued,” followed by the physical attack, the statement said. It went on to describe the assault in great detail, saying Brown punched Rihanna — identified in the statement as Robyn F. — numerous times and put her in a head lock, restricting her breathing and causing her to start to lose consciousness. Brown threatened to beat her and kill her, according to the statement, and he bit her ear and her fingers. Eventually, the statement said, “Robyn F. began screaming for help and Brown exited the vehicle and walked away. A resident in the neighborhood heard Robyn F.’s plea for help and called 911, causing a police response. An investigation was conducted and Robyn F. was issued a domestic violence emergency protective order.” At the end of his statement, the detective said Brown sent a text message nine days later, apologizing. Brown made a public apology in July in a video statement posted on his personal Web site. “I have told Rihanna countless times, and I’m telling you today, that I’m truly, truly sorry in that I wasn’t able to handle the situation both differently and better,” Brown said. “What I did was unacceptable, 100 percent. I can only ask and pray that you forgive me. Please.” Brown, in the two-minute video, said he had wanted to “publicly express my deepest regret and accept full responsibility” since February, but he had remained silent on the advice of his defense lawyer. “Although I will do some interviews and answer some questions in the future, I felt it was time you heard directly from me that I am sorry,” he said in the video. “I have tried to live my life in a way which can make those around me proud of me, and until recently, I think I was doing a pretty good job,” Brown said. “I wish I had the chance to relive those few moments again, but unfortunately I can’t. I cannot go into what happened, and most importantly, I’m not going to sit here and make any excuses. “I take great pride in me being able to exercise self-control, and what I did was inexcusable. I am very sad and very ashamed of what I’ve done. My mother and my spiritual teachers have taught me way better than that.”
Brown, who lost several product endorsements after his arrest, said he realizes he has “truly been blessed” and he intends “to live my life so that I am truly worthy of the term role model.” “As many of you know, I grew up in a home where there was domestic violence, and I saw firsthand what uncontrolled rage can do,” he said. “I have sought and I am continuing to seek help to ensure that what occurred in February can never happen again. And as I sit here today, I can tell you that I will do everything in my power to make sure that it never happens again. And I promise that.”