The police officer who allegedly leaked a photo of a battered Rihanna following her assault at the hands of Chris Brown, will not be charged. Within hours of the attack - in which Brown punched his girlfriend and slammed her head against his rented Lamborghini - a rookie officer had sent the photographic evidence to gossip website Tmz.com, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Lapd officials vowed to conduct a thorough investigation, though after three years, numerous search warrants and forensic examinations, no criminal charges will be brought against the officer. The decision was officially made in March, despite the fact that an award-winning patrol officer was found to be involved in the sale of the picture. The district attorney's office cited a lack of evidence to prove that officers were paid by Tmz, though widespread speculation in the media pointed towards the officers receiving a paid premium for the exclusive image, which went on to make it into hundreds of international publications. One report put the price tag at $62,000, though no evidence of such a payment was turned up in the officer's bank account. A spokeswoman for the district attorney's office said investigators could not rule out that the payments were funnelled through others, but noted, "You can't go on a fishing expedition and subpoena everybody who might be related or a friend".
Singer Chris Brown - who has since gone on to win Grammy Awards - was arrested on suspicion of beating Robyn Rihanna Fenty on February 8, 2009. The officer accused of leaking a photo of the singer's injuries took the snap in the hours after the assault. That image surfaced on Tmz.com six days later.