Chris Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault charges on Monday in his criminal court case following allegations of hitting, choking and biting then-girlfriend Rihanna on February 8, 2009, reports The New York Times.
The plea will subject Brown to five years' probation, regular domestic violence counseling, and six months of community service in his home state of Virginia. The judge explicitly demanded that Brown will perform intense community service like scrubbing graffiti and picking up garbage that will require him to get his hands dirty—not simply to spend cushy face time at community centers or churches.
The judge also imposed a stay-away order between Brown and Rihanna, which Rihanna had not requested. The order maintains that the pair must remain a minimum of 50 yards apart from each other, or 10 yards at industry events. Rihanna entered the courtroom after Brown had exited, and spoke softly when she said she may request that the terms of the stay-away order be loosened after Brown's formal sentencing on August 5.
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Critics say the plea is an attempt to save the R&B star's career by taking responsibility for his conduct. His lawyer Mark Geragos said, "He embraces this chance to get the message out that domestic violence will not be tolerated. He wants to get his life back on track." Brown would have faced up to five years in prison if he'd been convicted. 16 Reasons To Date A Convict
After the hearing, the pair's lawyers declined to discuss the status of their relationship.