Chris Brown rejects plea deal in Washington assault case

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BY TOM RAMSTACK

(Reuters) - R&B singer Chris Brown rejected a no-jail plea deal on Wednesday for a suspected sidewalk punchup and will go to trial in September, the latest legal hurdle for the Grammy-winning performer.

Brown, 25, rejected a plea accord that would have sentenced him to time served in exchange for pleading guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge, his attorney Mark Geragos said.

"They wanted him to read from a script that wasn't true. He didn't want to do that, and I didn't want him to do that," he told reporters outside the District of Columbia Superior Court.

Senior Superior Court Judge Patricia Wynn set a Sept. 8 trial date. During the roughly 20-minute hearing, prosecutor Kevin Chambers told her, "We have not been able to reach agreement in this case."

The "Turn Up the Music" singer, who was dressed in a white shirt, black jacket and slacks, spoke only to his attorneys in the courtroom packed with media, fans and onlookers.

Accompanied by an entourage, Brown left the courthouse and made his way through a noisy throng of fans, many of them young women, before he drove away in a black SUV with tinted windows.

Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office, said the failure to reach a plea deal centered on the statement of facts to which Brown would have to plead guilty.

"In no way could it be construed as a script," he said.

Parker Adams, 20, claimed Brown and his bodyguard Chris Hollosy punched him and broke his nose when he tried to jump into a fan photo outside a Washington hotel in October 2013. Hollosy has been convicted.

Brown was released this month from a Los Angeles jail where he was serving a one-year sentence for violating probation from his 2009 assault of pop singer Rihanna.

Brown had been locked up since March 14 after he was kicked out of court-ordered rehabilitation in California for violating rules. He must also undergo therapy and random drug testing and complete community service.

He made his mark in the music world as a teenager and, despite several brushes with the law, has been able to bounce back professionally.

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