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Saturday, December 3, 2016

LOS ANGELES, California (AFP) – U.S. rapper Chris Brown, who made headlines in 2009 for his assault on then girlfriend Rihanna, was cleared in a hit-and-run case.

A Los Angeles judge closed the case Thursday after the the 24-year-old and the other driver struck a deal.

By his own admission, Brown had rear-ended a Mercedes with his Range Rover on May 21 near Toluca Lake north of Los Angeles.

But he said he exchanged all necessary details with the driver of the Mercedes and denied leaving the scene.

The prosecutor’s office protested the judge’s decision, saying Brown showed aggression after the incident.

Brown’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, said the deal did not involve any money and that the woman driving the Mercedes only received $800 from her insurance.

Geragos welcomed Thursday’s development, saying: “Sometimes I get the impression that (Brown is) prosecuted for who he is, not for what he’s done.”

But Brown still has other legal woes.

He was sentenced to five years’ probation, a year-long domestic violence program and 180 days of community service after assaulting Rihanna on the eve of the 2009 Grammys. A photo of her bruised face triggered widespread anger.

After he was charged over the alleged hit-and-run, prosecutors filed — and were granted — a request in a Los Angeles court asking for his probation to be revoked.

A court hearing is scheduled for Friday to decide his fate.

He could face up to four years behind bars if the judge decides he violated his probation and lawyers do not agree a deal to spare him jail.

Photo Credit: AFP/Alberto E. Rodriguez

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