Chris Brown Defense May Hinge on Leaked Rihanna Pic

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Since Chris Brown's arrest in February, his normally loquacious attorney, Mark Geragos, has said nary a word about how he plans to defend Brown against charges that he punched, choked and threatened to kill his pop star girlfriend, Rihanna.

But comments by the attorney in court Wednesday suggest part of the strategy might be attacking police for the leak of a photo of Rihanna's bruised face.

The defense lawyer told a judge he planned to request information about possible police misconduct or bias and mentioned by name an appellate court ruling that provides defendants access to files in internal police investigations.

Geragos' remarks seemed a clear reference to the probe sparked by TMZ's posting of a photo consistent with Rihanna pictures taken by police that night.

LAPD investigators have been interviewing their own officers and scouring computers for two months - so far in vain - in an effort to determine if someone inside the agency sold or gave the photo to the celebrity gossip website.

Is Chris Brown's lawyer's apparent strategy of focusing on this haunting, leaked Rihanna photo relevant to his client's defense - or a shameless, distracting ploy?

With a preliminary hearing date now set for May 28, Geragos' actions indicate he may seek to have the case thrown out over the photo at that time.

Whether he proves effective or not, the attorney's focusing on the photo's leak would most definitely compound the LAPD's embarrassment over the apparent failure to safeguard evidence in a case that has attracted world attention.

A state law makes it a misdemeanor for officers or law enforcement employees to profit by leaking confidential reports or images. Police Chief William J. Bratton promised "a very painful experience" for any LAPD employee found to be involved.

"We are still following leads and the case is far from closed," said Deputy Chief Mark Perez, head of the LAPD's Professional Standards Bureau.

Investigators got a search warrant this week for a personal e-mail account with a possible connection to the photo, Perez acknowledged.

He did not say if the address belonged to an employee of the LAPD or TMZ.

The celeb gossip site has said it obtained the photo "legally."

Perez was dismissive of possible attempts to make the photo leak a focal point of the case, saying "It doesn't surprise me. Criminal defense attorneys do everything they can do to win a case, and distraction is one way to do it."

But according to legal experts, the records sought by the defense could be useful at trial or in negotiating a plea deal for Chris Brown.

"If one or more of the officers were paid for releasing this photo and they were the same ones that were investigating the case, it's highly relevant," said criminal defense attorney Dmitry Gorin, who is not involved in the case.

"But if it's someone who worked in the computer department" and had nothing to do with the actual investigation, "then it becomes less relevant."

Chris Brown pleaded not guilty to two felony counts earlier this month.

The 19-year-old faces nearly five years in prison if convicted of assault and criminal threats in the February 8 incident with Rihanna, 21.

She told a detective she and Brown argued over text messages he received from another woman - said to be either manager Tina Davis or model Natasha Ellie - as they drove away from a pre-Grammy party in a rented Lamborghini.

According to an affidavit filed by the detective, Rihanna said Brown punched her in the face, bit her fingers and held her in a headlock until she nearly lost consciousness. She was later treated at a hospital for bruises and cuts.

Authorities are continuing to gather evidence, including records from Cedars Sinai Medical Center, according to a search warrant filed earlier this month.

Brown did not attend the hearing last week.

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sorry rihana brown his maked mistak give him for given im verry suport your music i wish you good live realy i am verry love you

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TO CLARIFY THIS ONCE AND FOR ALL..OPRAH IS NOT GOD..WHAT SHE SAID ABOUT 'IF A MAN HITS YOU ONCE - HE'LL DO IT AGAIN..IS NOT BACKED UP BY STATS. THE REALITY IS THAT THE DOMESTIC VIOENCE STATS SAY JUST THE OPPOSITE. RIHANNA IN HER STATEMENT ADMITTED THAT SHE SLAPPED CHRIS BEFORE AND HE ONLY HELD HER BACK AND TOLD HER TO CALM DOWN. AND THIS ONE INCIDENT DOES NOT MEAN CHRIS BROWN IS A WOMAN BEATER - WHAT OTHER WOMAN WOULD HAVE SLAPPED ON OR HIT ON THE MAN WHILE HE WAS DRIVING A $300,000 rented car??RIHANNA IS THE ONE THAT NEEDS ANGER MANAGEMENT...AND CHRIS DID HIT HER TOO MUCH - I ASSUME - I DON'T KNOW WHAT WENT ON THAT NIGHT - NEITHER DOES ANYHOW BUT THOSE TWO - AND I DON'T BELIEVE RIHANNA WASN'T FIGHTING HIM BACK AND IT IS A FACT THAT SHE ESCALATED THIS TO THE POINT OF VIOLENCE..

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It should not matter if the picture was leaked or not (that should be a separate case against LAPD). There was blood in the car, on her close and jewelry. To use the leak of the photo to get a case thrown out shows just how ridiculous our legal system can be sometimes. For all you dummies in denial out there the picture, the black eye, bite marks, and the medical treatment she had to receive does not lie. Wake up already there was an altercation and she was at the receiving end of his fist and teeth. Keep it real and just say you do not care if Chris Brown and/or your man beat the crap out of you because he is cute and nice. This attitude towards abusive men is why it is hard for law enforcement (and obviously society) to take violent and sexual crimes against women and children seriously. I am so tired of the ignorance of the dumb hip hop generation.

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ok so Chris brown is a nice guy and all but ladies you have to know this if he does it once then he will do it again so dont allow anyone to put their hands on you ok.

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It is sad when it is alright for a woman to hit a man, but as soon as the man hits back all hell breaks loose. I have one son and two daughters and I teach my daughters to keep there hands to themselves. My son came home with a long gash on the side of his face from a female, and he did not hit her back because he was taught do not hit women, but from that day on I told my son if they hit you to hurt you than hit them back, Women want to be equal to men only when it is convenient for them, and as a Woman I am sick of it. If you are a real woman than you know what buttons to push, and you also know when to walk away. I am not condoning men to hit women, but let's be honest how many times do you see the media going crazy when a women beats a man. None, because men are ridiculed if they report it.

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he didn't do anything to Rihanna? then who the hell did?! that is the absolute dumbest comment you could've left on here! i understand that sometimes women may put their hands on men first and provoke men to react, but there is no way in the world that Rihanna provoked Chris to beat her as bad as he did! he needs to be held accountable for his actions. there are too many young people that look up to him for him to get away with this, that would be sending the wrong message to our youth. and Yunuen, if you don't see any truth in the allegations against Chris or anything wrong with what he did to her, you need to seek help

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Yunuen get a dictionary inc one that lists the correct spelling of Rihanna herself

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he did not do enything to Rhiana shes a lier no ofens to Rhiana but you are.

Rihanna Biography

Rihanna in England Rihanna is a young, hot and successful R&B singer who hails from the Caribbean island of Barbados. She is an artist signed to Def Jam... More »
Born
Birthplace
Saint Michael, Barbados
Full Name
Robyn Rihanna Fenty

Rihanna Quotes

I get asked about it all the time and I’m like, You’re asking, but you know the answer. I don’t even like to address it anymore.

Rihanna [on rumors that she dated Jay-Z]

Sometimes you just need your privacy. But it comes with the territory. There's no privacy when you are out in the public.

Rihanna