RICHMOND, Virginia — Chris Brown likely will spend the next year in group counseling sessions learning about control and other relationship issues as part of his court-ordered treatment for beating ex-girlfriend Rihanna.
Brown was sentenced in California Tuesday to five years’ probation, six months of community labor and a year of domestic violence counseling for the February attack, and he must stay away from his former girlfriend for the next five years. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg is allowing Brown to complete the community labor and counseling in Richmond, near his Montpelier home.
Brown, 20, will undergo domestic violence counseling at Commonwealth Catholic Charities, a nonprofit social services organization that that works with people from all faiths in central and southwestern Virginia.
Executive Director Joanne D. Nattrass said most of the counseling likely will be done in group sessions. She would not reveal when Brown would start the treatment nor any details about the program.
According to the organization’s Web site, its Batterer’s Intervention Program offers educational group sessions with discussions on such topics as control issues and equality in a relationship.
“BIP frequently tests and challenges each group member’s behavior,” the Web site states. “Progress is made only if the abuser is self-accountable for all behaviors, and develops the flexibility to make behavioral changes.”
In a letter to the court, the charity said it would report on Brown’s status monthly. Brown would be allowed to miss up to three sessions.
Community labor still be worked out
Richmond police officials said they still were working out what types of chores the 20-year-old will perform as community labor and when he would start. Schnegg wanted Brown to perform physical labor instead of community service, such as mentoring young people.
“The logistics and the timetable are still being worked out,” police spokesman James Mercante said.
Included in those discussions is whether there would need to be added security for whatever duties Brown performs, he said.
Richmond Police Chief Bryan T. Norwood said Tuesday the department worked with Brown’s attorney, Mark Geragos, for several weeks to work out the logistics of Brown’s community labor.
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“We welcome Chris Brown back to Richmond, and we assure everyone involved that the command of the court will be followed,” he said in a statement.
Brown faces prison time if he violates the terms of his sentence. He had until Thursday to report to his probation officer in L.A.
In the probation officer’s report filed after sentencing, it said Brown said in a June 26 interview he was “ashamed and embarrassed” by his actions.
Brown told probation officials he immediately wanted to plead guilty and to undergo counseling before he started probation but his attorney would not allow it.
“The defendant started when he was growing up he saw violence in his own household and he does not want to, ‘carry on that cycle,’” the report said.
Brown was arrested Feb. 8, hours after he was accused of beating Rihanna.
The attack occurred in Los Angeles’ Hancock Park neighborhood as Brown drove a rented sports car. A Los Angeles police detective described a brutal attack in a search warrant affidavit filed in the case, stating Brown hit, choked and bit Rihanna and tried at one point to push her from the car.
Brown’s career suffered after his arrest, with sponsors dropping him and radio stations refusing to play his music. Both he and Rihanna had to cancel several high-profile appearances, including planned performances at the Grammy Awards the day of the attack.
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