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Chris Brown's rampage unlikely to bring criminal charges, but could affect Rihanna restraining order

March 23, 2011 |  7:20 am

Without a New York Police Department crime report, the chair-tossing tantrum by Chris Brown at "Good Morning America" on Tuesday isn't likely to have much, if any, impact on the singer's status in Los Angeles County courts, according to experts and law enforcement officials.

A series of questions put to Brown by GMA co-anchor Robin Roberts about his 2009 attack on then-girlfriend Rihanna led to the incident backstage. The entertainer "stormed into his dressing room and started screaming and tearing the room apart," ABC reported. Brown also "smashed a window in his dressing room, with the glass shattering and falling onto 43rd and Broadway.

New York police told The Times  they were not called to the studios to take a report after the outburst. That is where the story is likely to begin and end even though Brown is on five years' probation for hitting his ex-girlfriend Rihanna, said Dmitry Gori, a former L.A. County prosecutor and well-known defense attorney.

"Unless the 'GMA' acts or the [L.A. County] probation department acts, then there will be no information for the supervising judge to consider whether there was a probation violation or not," Gorin said. "At the end of the day it's, at most, a property crime. It definitely doesn't make him look good in the public eye but there's no domestic [violence] violation."

Others sources in the Los Angeles legal community who are familiar with the case also expressed doubts that the incident would have any lasting legal effects.

In 2009 Brown pleaded guilty to assaulting Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty. The attack -- in which police said Brown bit, punched and choked his then-girlfriend -- erupted as the couple sat in a car in a Hancock Park neighborhood after a pre-Grammy Awards party.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Brown was placed on five years' probation, required to attend a yearlong domestic violence prevention class and complete six months of what the judge termed "community labor" -- a more restrictive form of community service in which he was required to perform such tasks as picking up trash or removing graffiti.

The incident at the GMA studios comes less than a month after Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg praised Brown for making progress in the case and downgraded a restraining order issued against him in connection with the domestic violence case.

Gorin said that Brown's antics in New York could give the judge pause in deciding whether to lift the restraining order altogether.


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--Andrew Blankstein