Brian Hickerson pleaded no contest on Tuesday to two felony counts of injuring a spouse/cohabitant/girlfriend/child's parent

By Naledi Ushe and Aurelie Corinthios
April 20, 2021 06:34 PM
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Brian Hickerson mugshot
Credit: Teton County Sheriff’s Office

Hayden Panettiere's ex-boyfriend Brian Hickerson has been sentenced to 45 days in jail.

Hickerson pleaded no contest on Tuesday to two felony counts of injuring a spouse/cohabitant/girlfriend/child's parent, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office confirms to PEOPLE. The 31-year-old must begin serving his sentence on May 7.

In addition to jail time, Hickerson was sentenced to four years of formal probation, 52 domestic violence classes, $500 in restitution and a five-year protective order.

Hickerson's attorney had no comment when reached by PEOPLE.

In July, a criminal indictment obtained by PEOPLE established that Hickerson was arrested on multiple felony charges, including four charges of corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant, two charges of assault with a deadly weapon, and one of intimidating a witness, Panettiere. He also faced a misdemeanor charge of battery on a spouse/cohabitant.

The remainder of his charges were dropped during Tuesday's sentencing.

Brian Hickerson, Hayden Panettiere
Credit: Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock

The eight charges against Panettiere's ex stemmed from allegedly abusive incidents from May 2019 to January 2020. 

In May 2019, Hickerson was arrested on a domestic violence charge and released on bail. According to the felony complaint obtained by PEOPLE at the time, prosecutors had alleged Hickerson "willfully inflicted corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition upon Hayden P."

He pleaded not guilty to one count of felony domestic violence later that month; the case was dismissed at the end of September 2019. A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said at the time, "Our office was unable to proceed because we could not secure a material witness."

In February 2020, Hickerson was again arrested on Valentine's Day in Jackson, Wyoming. He was charged with domestic battery and interference with a cop, both misdemeanor charges in Wyoming, a spokesperson for the Teton County Sheriff's Office told PEOPLE at the time. According to court documents obtained by TMZ, Hickerson allegedly punched Panettiere "with a closed fist on the right side of her face."

Hickerson reportedly pleaded not guilty to the charge in April of that year. 

According to a complaint obtained by PEOPLE, on June 27, 2020 he attempted to "prevent and dissuade Hayden P., a victim and witness of a crime from causing a complaint, indictment, information, probation and parole violating to be sought and prosecuted and assisting in the prosecution thereof."

Hayden Panettiere
Hayden Panettiere
| Credit: Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic

Following Hickerson's arrest in July, the actress addressed the alleged abuse she faced at the hands of her ex-boyfriend in a statement to PEOPLE.

"I am coming forward with the truth about what happened to me with the hope that my story will empower others in abusive relationships to get the help they need and deserve," she said. "I am prepared to do my part to make sure this man never hurts anyone again. I'm grateful for my support system, which helped me find the courage to regain my voice and my life."

Her attorney Alan Jackson issued the following statement: "After suffering for years as the victim of psychological, emotional and severe physical abuse, Hayden Panettiere has begun the process of taking back her life. Hayden has found the strength and courage to share the truth about her abuse and her abuser, and she intends to assist the prosecution to see that justice is served. As a survivor, she recognizes that her arduous journey of healing has just begun."

Panettiere and Hickerson started dating after reports circulated that she and then-fiancé Wladimir Klitschko had split in August 2018. Panettiere and Klitschko, 45, share daughter Kaya, 6.

Last month, a source told PEOPLE that Panettiere is in a "wonderful headspace" and looking forward to all that's to come.

"Things are so much better and she's really excited about her future. She's got a few projects in the works," said the source, who added that she's "spending time with her daughter."

"She has an amazing relationship with Wlad. Things are going really well," the source said.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.