Chris Brown’s attorney is seeking police records to try to find out who leaked information about the alleged beating of Rihanna.
Attorney Mark Geragos filed a motion Wednesday in Los Angeles, seeking police personnel and investigative records.
Geragos wrote that he wants the documents to see if he can discredit or attack the credibility of police witnesses during a preliminary hearing in early June. Geragos wrote that if the files contain evidence of police misconduct, they may form a basis for the case against the R&B singer to be dismissed.
He also wants the files of a police investigation into the leaking of a photo of a bruised and battered Rihanna that was leaked to celebrity gossip Web site TMZ.
Brown, 20, remains free on bail after his Feb. 8 arrest with his then-girlfriend.
Geragos wrote in the filing that he believes a Los Angeles Police Department officer sold the photo to TMZ.
However the site acquired the photo, Brown’s attorney wrote that it has been damaging to the singer’s case.
“The purpose of the leak was necessarily for profit and to vilify Mr. Brown and poison the potential jury pool,” Geragos wrote.
He added that it was seen by “hundreds of thousands of viewers” and remains on TMZ.
The LAPD has launched its own investigation into how the photo, which it said appeared to be part of its investigation, was leaked. A department spokesman said Thursday morning there was no update on the investigation.
Geragos is also seeking the personnel files and other records of 25 LAPD officers and employees who apparently handled the case. He is also seeking information about any misconduct complaints others may have filed against the officers in other cases. The request is for several groups of police workers, including officers, a detective, supervisors, a criminalist and a forensic photographer.
The motions are scheduled to be heard May 28.
Police said at the time of Brown’s arrest that he was involved in a fight in the Hancock Park neighborhood with a woman who was later identified as Rihanna.
He was later charged with felony assault likely to cause great bodily harm and making criminal threats. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
If convicted, Brown could be sentenced to probation or nearly five years in prison.
His squeaky-clean image has been damaged by the case, with radio stations boycotting his music, fellow artists criticizing him, and Brown withdrawing himself from several high-profile events, including the Grammy Awards.
An attorney for Rihanna has said the 21-year-old Barbados-born singer will testify if required, but would prefer that the case be resolved before a trial.