Chris Brown charged with assault on Rihanna

Thu Mar 5, 2009 7:57pm EST
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By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Singer Chris Brown was charged Thursday with felony assault and making criminal threats in what prosecutors say was a Grammy-eve attack on his girlfriend, the pop star Rihanna.

Brown, 19, appeared briefly in Los Angeles Superior Court but did not enter a plea to the charges. His arraignment was postponed until April 6.

Wearing a gray suit, white shirt and tie, the rising R&B singer stood emotionless, answering only "Yes ma'am" to the judge.

The judge issued an order barring Brown from "harassing, threatening or using force" against anyone. But the singer was not ordered to refrain from contact with Rihanna, with whom he reportedly has reconciled.

Los Angeles prosecutors said Brown attacked Rihanna, 21, late on the night before the February 8 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.

He could face up to four years in prison if convicted. It was unclear whether Rihanna, who was not in court Thursday, would testify against him.

Both singers pulled out of scheduled performances at the February Grammys, and a photo of Rihanna's bruised and battered face was leaked onto the Internet.

"GREAT BODILY INJURY"   Continued...

<p>Singer Chris Brown appears with attorney Mark Geragos in the Los Angeles Superior Court in Los Angeles, March 5, 2009. REUTERS/Bob Chamberlin/Pool</p>