LOS ANGELES – Chris Brown briefly appeared in court Thursday, hours after he was charged with two felonies stemming from what a police detective describes as a brutal argument between the singer and his girlfriend, Rihanna.
Brown’s arraignment was postponed until April 6 on charges of assault likely to cause great bodily injury and making criminal threats. The 19-year-old R&B singer remains free on $50,000 bail.
A court commissioner ordered him not to harass, threaten or harm anyone. At the request of Donald Etra, an attorney representing Rihanna, the commissioner did not order Brown to stay away from her.
Details released Thursday offer a starkly different portrait of Brown than the squeaky-clean image he has cultivated. The young man once praised for his Michael Jackson-esque dance moves is described in a detective’s affidavit as punching his girlfriend, biting her ear and trying to choke her until she nearly lost consciousness.
His arrest prompted an exodus of sponsors and a retreat into secrecy for both Brown and Rihanna. The couple were among the marquee names scheduled to appear and perform at the Grammys Feb. 8, but the alleged attack forced both to cancel their appearances.
The courtroom was filled Thursday with onlookers and media for Brown’s brief appearance. He and his attorney did not speak to reporters after the hearing.
The felony complaint handed down in court Thursday identifies Brown’s alleged victim only as “Robyn F.” (Rihanna’s real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty.) The “Disturbia” singer’s attorney, Etra, also identified her as Brown’s alleged victim.
Etra declined to say whether Rihanna would testify against Brown, or whether the couple had reunited.
“I’m not here to discuss the relationship,” he said.
If convicted, Brown’s possible sentence ranges anywhere from probation to four years and eight months in state prison.
According to a detective’s affidavit, Brown and Rihanna got into a fight early Feb. 8 after she checked her boyfriend’s cell phone and found a text message from another woman.