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Chris Brown can get closer to Rihanna, as judge eases restraining order

Chris Brown and Rihanna
GABRIEL BOUYS/MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
Chris Brown Allowed to See and Speak to Rihanna, Says Newly Downgraded Restraining Order
Chris Brown and Rihanna
Gabriel Bouys/Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

(CBS/AP) LOS ANGELES - Chris Brown no longer has to stay 50 yards away from Rihanna, after a judge downgraded a restraining order Tuesday in the performer's felony assault case.

The 21-year-old singer can now come within 10 yards of his ex-girlfriend at a music-industry event...as long as he does not harass, threaten, assault or track her movements.

Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg commended Brown and his progress; still, she said she would have never considered removing the stay-away provisions issued after Brown pleaded guilty to beating Rihanna in February 2009, without Rihanna's consent, and until Brown completed domestic violence counseling.

Prosecutors did not object to the change as it was suggested by their client.

Under the new order which remains in effect until August 2014 when Brown's probation is scheduled to end, he and Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Fenty, can now see and speak to each other. Rihanna is allowed to record any threatening conversations with Brown and present them as further evidence to authorities.

Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault for the February 2009 pre-Grammy Awards party fight in which he repeatedly struck Rihanna.

Brown's next court hearing is set for June 27th, but due to his recent good behavior he does not have to make a personal appearance.

COMPLETE COVERAGE OF CHRIS BROWN ON CRIMESIDER

Watch the CBSNews.com report here: