The story should have been that prosecutors were going after R&B singer Chris Brown for violating his probation by submitting fudged or fraudulent documents attesting that he had completed his compulsory community service sentence handed down by an Los Angeles court in 2009. Instead, the story, as reported by CNN, co-starred with the fact that Rihanna appeared in court Wednesday (Feb. 6) with Brown for the hearing.
She even blew him kisses from the gallery, according to TMZ, where the "Disturbia" singer sat with Brown's mother. A progress report hearing about the sentencing incurred when he beat then girlfriend Rihanna into an unrecognizable female. A hearing that would have never taken place had Brown's admitted brutal treatment of his then girlfriend not necessitated the proceeding.
This time, the prosecution would not be attempting to nail Brown on something he did but on something he allegedly didn't do.
It would be the second time the prosecution would go after the "Don't Judge Me" singer while Rihanna offered support. The first time, in the summer of 2009, her lawyers asked that a restraining order not be put into place. The judge ignored the request.
This time, long after the restraining order had expired and a week after Rolling Stone reported that it was official that Rihanna and Brown were again seeing each other, she was there to lend moral support as his current girlfriend. She apparently was also there to lend credence to Brown's lawyer Mark Geragos' claims to a reporter (via CNN) that she thought it was "utterly ridiculous what they're doing to him."
The prosecution claimed in papers filed Tuesday that Brown had not completed the 180 hours of community service he says he has. District Attorney Jackie Lacey said that the paperwork attesting the hours of community service was "at best sloppy documentation and at worst fraudulent reporting." In fact, prosecutors said that they had evidence that not only did Brown not complete the minimum hours ordered, he wasn't even near the areas where said community service supposedly took place. They also submitted that Brown had displayed various violent acts in the past few years that violated his probation, including the recent fight with Frank Ocean in an L.A. parking lot.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Brandlin set another hearing date (April 5) to hear the charges but a full hearing would not take place on the matter until later. Brandlin ordered Brown to report to a probation officer for a report that would be used in the hearing.
Prosecutors decided not to ask for jail time but for Brown to submit to doing 1,400 hours of community service (the full sentence, much of which was suspended in lieu of the 180 hours was completed in a timely manner). They also asked the judge that the service be completed under the watch of a California probation officer since their claims hinged predominantly on claims that Virginia officials fraudulently signed off on work done at a day care center (where his mother once worked) that he never actually performed.
Geragos countered by saying his client was being "tortured" by the prosecutors, requesting that the deputy district attorneys prosecuting be held in contempt of court for filing what he called "false, fraudulent" papers with the court. Geragos claimed to have pictures and sworn statements as to Brown's community labor record, all of which was done in the state of Virginia.
At hearing's end, Brown and Rihanna walked out of the courthouse arm-in-arm.
Four years and not much has changed, events cycling back around to begin again. Rihanna and Chris Brown are seeing each other. Chris Brown having to appear in court over his assault on Rihanna. Chris Brown acting like he has done nothing wrong and doesn't have a care in the world. The circumstances are a bit different (namely the assault) but the situations are roughly the same. They only seem to be flowing backward instead of forward...
The progress report hearing came two days before the date marking the fourth year since Chris Brown assaulted Rihanna in a rented Lamborghini after a pre-Grammy party.