United States

Chris Brown Pleads Guilty to Assault in Washington

Chris Brown has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault in Washington, where he was accused of punching a man who tried to join a picture that the singer was taking with two women outside a hotel.

Brown, 25, was sentenced to time served on Tuesday. He had been in jail for two days in the case. After entering his plea, Brown apologized to the judge.

The singer had been facing 180 days in jail.

According to a statement entered with his plea, Brown was leaving the W Hotel near the White House last October when he was approached by two women who asked him to take a picture. Brown agreed, and one of the woman gave Brown's bodyguard Christopher Hollosy a cellphone to take the picture.

As the group posed for the picture, the victim, a 20-year-old Maryland man, tried to get into the picture. Following a verbal altercation, Brown punched the victim in the face.

Court papers say the victim's nose was fractured.

Brown will remain on probation in California until early 2015.

Brown had previously pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge stemming from the case.

A trial scheduled for April was delayed, and two previous attempts to reach a plea deal fell through, in January and again in June.

Brown's attorney, Danny Oronato, said there were "nuances'' of difference in the potential deals.

Hollosy, Brown's bodyguard, was found guilty of assault during a separate trial in April. His attorney says he will ask for a new trial based on new evidence.

At the time of the incident, Brown was on probation in California for a 2009 attack on his then-girlfriend, singer Rihanna.

Onorato said the singer's career has been "derailed for a year" by his legal trouble, arguing that Brown had already suffered extensive consequences from the D.C. case. He noted the additional jail time in California and the four months Brown spent receiving inpatient counseling.

He said that Brown wanted to take responsibility for his actions so he could go back to work, including a tour in support of a new album.

"To say that he's been punished severely in this matter is an understatement," Onorato said.

Brown spoke only briefly, saying: "I would like to say to the court that I'm sorry." He did not comment as he left court, swarmed by photographers and a handful of fans.

A civil case is also in the works. The victim, a Greenbelt resident, is suing for $3 million for doctors' bills, pain and suffering.

"As Chris Brown himself has now finally acknowledged, he punched a man in the face without provocation," U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen said in a statement. "No matter your status or celebrity, you will be held accountable for such conduct in our city."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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