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US singer Cee Lo Green escapes jail time for drugging date

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Grammy-winning singer Cee Lo Green.

Grammy-winning singer Cee Lo Green.

LOS ANGELES - Grammy-winning US singer Cee Lo Green has pleaded no contest to a charge of giving a woman ecstasy before going back to her hotel, but insisted he was innocent.

A judge on Friday sentenced Green to three years probation, 360 hours of community service, 52 Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous classes and ordered him to register as a controlled substance offender.

Green was accused of giving ecstasy to a 33-year-old woman without her knowledge while dining at a Los Angeles restaurant in July, 2012 before returning to the woman's hotel.

Prosecutors did not charge him with rape of an intoxicated person, citing insufficient evidence.

The 39-year-old - who has been a judge on US talent show The Voice - had pleaded not guilty to the charges last October.

Green changed his plea to no contest under a rule that lets him maintain his innocence but put the case behind him, said his lawyer Blair Berk.

Green entered the plea unexpectedly at a preliminary court hearing in Los Angeles which was due to consider if there was enough evidence for him to stand trial.

Green is due back in court March 2 for a progress report hearing.

If convicted, Green had faced up to four years in jail. Green, whose real name is Thomas DeCarlo Callaway, had been formally charged with one felony count of furnishing a controlled substance.

The singer is perhaps best known for the 2006 worldwide hit "Crazy," by the duo Gnarls Barkley along with fellow musician Danger Mouse.

More recently he had a hit with the toe-tapping and expletive-heavy song known in its radio edit version as "Forget You," which he performed at the Grammys in 2011.

Green has won five Grammys, including two last year, for best traditional R&B performance and best R&B song for "Fool for You."

AFP

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