So today Chris Brown pleaded guilty to one count of assault with intent to cause great bodily injury against then-girlfriend Rihanna. According to CNN:
Under terms of the agreement, Brown will serve five years of probation and must serve 180 days in jail or the equivalent — about 1,400 hours — in “labor-oriented service,” said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. He must also undergo a year-long domestic-violence counseling class, she said.
Brown’s sentence is comparable to other felony sentences when the defendant has no previous record, she said. “This is not an easy sentence,” Gibbons said.
Community service with no actual prison time sounds like a slap on the wrist to me, so I asked our resident domestic violence expert, Anonymous Prosecutor, whether this seemed like a reasonable sentence and got this reply:
Although I think he deserves much, much more, sadly this sentence is in line with first-time offenders, especially when the victim is not cooperative, which I believe is the case here. In cases like this I pushed for jail but I’m not surprised by the sentence. It’s only “reasonable” in the sense that others who are not famous might get the same thing. It’s NOT “reasonable” in the sense that the guy should be in prison for many years for what he did.
Chris Brown’s attorney, Mark Geragos, described his now apparently contrite client as:
“a kid who’s never been in trouble before” who wants to “move past this” and get out the message that domestic violence is not acceptable.
Yeah, every criminal in history wants “to move past this” once they’ve been caught and prosecuted. And I don’t buy for a second that the plea deal constitutes remorse or manning up or anything like it. The truth is, Chris Brown didn’t want this case to go to trial, attract tons of publicity and drag all the sordid details of his disgusting behavior into public view. A taste of what court observers could look forward to is in the official detective’s statement:
It [describes] the assault in great detail, saying Brown punched her numerous times and put her in a head lock, restricting her breathing and causing her to start to lose consciousness. He threatened to “beat the s–t out of you” and kill her, according to the statement, and also bit her ear and her fingers.
Eventually, “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.”
And then there are those pictures of Rihanna’s injuries. No one wants to see those again, least of all Chris Brown.
At the end of his statement, the detective said Brown sent a text message nine days later, apologizing.
A text? A TEXT? Jesus, talk about a million days late and a million dollars short. I mean, I realize at that point there was a restraining order in place, so it’s not like he could deliver the apology in person–nor should he even try. But a text? Something like: “SRY I TRD 2 KILL U?” Give me a fucking break. And don’t get me started on his “public apology.” I couldn’t possibly top what PhDork had to say about it.
The case was a slam dunk for the prosecution, and Chris Brown knew it, and knew he had more to lose by going to trial than by pleading. He had a competent–and expensive–lawyer who knew it too, even though he now says that Chris is a good kid who’s learned his lesson. What the fuck ever, counselor. Your client doesn’t get a cookie for pleading guilty when he knew he was going to be convicted anyway.
Anyhoo, enjoy your community service, Chris. And because I’m a mean bitch who hates men who beat up on women, my fingers are crossed that you do something stupid and violate your probation so you wind up in jail where you belong.