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December 22, 2014

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Judge rejects request to dismiss Chris Brown case

WASHINGTON — Singer Chris Brown's assault case is going forward after a judge in Washington on Monday rejected a request to dismiss it.

Lawyers for the Grammy-award-winning singer had argued the case should be dismissed because prosecutors abused the grand jury process to prepare for trial. Brown's lawyer, Mark Geragos, said prosecutors used the grand jury to "freeze" the testimony of the alleged victim in the case, a man who says Brown and his bodyguard punched him outside a Washington hotel in October.

Geragos called the incident "the most investigated misdemeanor of all time."

But Judge Patricia Wynn agreed with prosecutors that they had a right to use the grand jury to assess the strength of their case.

"I am persuaded that there was no abuse," Wynn said.

Brown and his bodyguard are scheduled to go to trial on April 17. A judge will hear the case, not a jury.

At the time of the alleged assault in Washington, Brown was on probation in California for a 2009 attack on singer Rihanna, his then-girlfriend. Soon after his arrest in Washington he entered rehab for anger management treatment, but he was jailed in mid-March after violating the facility's rules. If convicted in the Washington case, Brown could face additional penalties, including time behind bars, under the terms of a court order in the Rihanna case.

The U.S. Marshals Service is in the process of transporting Brown to Washington and he was not present at Monday morning's hearing.

Brown's lawyers and government prosecutors are expected to return to court Monday afternoon for an additional hearing. Issues to be discussed include whether Brown and his bodyguard, Christopher Hollosy, should be tried separately, which their lawyers want. Prosecutors, meanwhile, want the judge to bar Brown from claiming self-defense.

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