Chris Brown Sentenced to Probation, Must Keep Clear of Rihanna Till 2014

The singer learned his fate today in court for assaulting R&B star Rihanna

By Josh Grossberg, Whitney English Aug 25, 2009 10:55 PMTags

Chris Brown admitted his crime, and now he'll do his time—though not in a cell.

The disgraced singer was sentenced Tuesday to five years' formal probation and 180 days of community labor and was ordered to complete a one-year anti-domestic violence program as part of his guilty plea for beating up fellow R&B star Rihanna.

"You are going to be placed on formal felony probation for a period of 60 months," L.A. Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg said.

Brown, dressed in a dark three-piece pin-striped suit and black tie, stood solemnly during the proceedings next to his attorney, Mark Geragos, and did not address the judge except to say he understood all the terms of his probation. Rihanna's attorney, Donald Etra, was also present.

Today's sentencing was moved up from this Thursday at the request of the defense. It was originally supposed to happen two weeks ago, but Schnegg postponed the hearing after Brown's lawyer asked that the "Forever" crooner be allowed to serve his community service in his home state of Virginia.

After checking with the Commonwealth, the judge agreed and will also let him complete his counseling there as well.

But in what's likely to be the most painful part of his punishment, Schnegg left intact a restraining order barring Brown from coming within 100 yards of his former squeeze until Aug. 25, 2014.

Talk about forever. Read on...

The sole exception is if the two attend the same entertainment industry-related events; then he must maintain a distance of at least 10 yards. Should he violate that prohibition, he could do time.

"I'm not immune from the chatter on the airwaves," the judge warned him. "Any violation of this protective order is a violation of your probation. Even though you have probation...this is a felony and it comes with a sentence in state prison."

Brown, 20, will also be required to appear before the court every three months to give an update on his counseling and his community labor, which includes such physical tasks as graffiti and trash cleanup and washing cars.

She also prohibited the entertainer from owning or possessing firearms and imposed several fines including one totaling $2,500 and a $400 penalty that he'll pay to a domestic violence fund.

On the plus side, the judge approved travel within the continental U.S. If Brown wants to take any overseas trips, however, he'll have to get permission from his probation officer. Schnegg also credited him with one day in L.A. County jail.

A rep for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office told E! News after the hearing that prosecutors are satisfied with the outcome.

"We feel the sentence is an equitable one. It is now in his hands," spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said. "As long as he conforms to all of the terms then he's going to be fine."

As for whether Rihanna would like to see a looser restraining order against Brown, her attorney demurred.

"Rihanna knows what her legal options are should she seek a modification," Etra told reporters.

Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault back on June 22 stemming from his February arrest on domestic violence charges after getting into a brutal altercation with his ex the night before the Grammys.

The performer subsequently issued a video apology in July, expressing his regrets over the beatdown.

Brown's next court date is a progress report scheduled for Nov. 19.

(Originally published August 25, 2009, at 1:45 p.m. PT)


They were once a match made in heaven. Check out E! Online's Rihanna and Chris Brown: A Look Back photo gallery.