R&B star R. Kelly pleads not guilty to sexually assaulting teens

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Grammy-winning R&B star R. Kelly pleaded not guilty on Monday to costs that he sexually assaulted three teenage ladies and a lady in alleged incidents courting again to 1998, weeks after a tv documentary leveled new accusations in opposition to him.

The 52-year-old performer, whose actual title is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was charged in a 10-count indictment returned on Friday by a Cook County grand jury in Chicago, and later surrendered to police. If convicted, he would face up to seven years in jail for every rely.

Bond was set on Saturday at $1 million, and Kelly remained locked up over the weekend.

On Monday morning, Kelly, sporting an orange jail jumpsuit, appeared in a Chicago courtroom earlier than Associate Judge Lawrence Flood and spoke solely to verify his title. His lawyer, Steven Greenberg, entered a not guilty plea on Kelly’s behalf.

“Mr. Kelly has done absolutely nothing wrong,” Greenberg informed reporters. “No one has showed us any evidence that he has done anything wrong.”

Cash bail of $100,000 was posted hours later for Kelly, and he was anticipated to be launched quickly, county sheriff’s spokesman Sam Randall mentioned Monday afternoon.

Kelly, greatest identified for his hit single “I Believe I Can Fly,” had been confined to a jail hospital ward to maintain him aside from the overall inmate inhabitants, his lawyer mentioned.

Prosecutors say Kelly’s alleged victims embrace a teen he met when she sought an autograph throughout his 2008 trial on youngster pornography costs, one other he met at her 16th-birthday get together and his hairdresser, who was then 24. The singer was acquitted of the 2008 pornography costs.

A fourth cost relies on a videotape that purportedly reveals Kelly and a 14-year-old lady engaged in sexual acts, in accordance to prosecutors.

Prosecutors within the 2008 case additionally launched a video as proof in opposition to Kelly, however the sufferer did not testify. The new costs emerged in a distinct setting, after the #MeToo motion had made accusers extra prepared to come ahead and regulation enforcement extra possible to imagine them.

Attorney Michael Avenatti, who represents two Kelly accusers, informed reporters after Monday’s listening to that he had turned over a second videotape to prosecutors earlier within the day.

The 55-minute video dated from round 2000 additionally confirmed a 14-year-old lady, although Avenatti did not specify whether or not it was the identical lady as within the first video. It additionally was unclear whether or not each the Kelly accusers he counts as his purchasers are among the many 4 alleged victims in Friday’s indictment.

FILE PHOTO: Singer Robert Kelly, often called R. Kelly, is pictured in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on this handout reserving picture obtained by Reuters February 23, 2019. Cook County Sheriff’s Office/Handout by way of REUTERS

The costs in opposition to the performer got here simply weeks after the Lifetime tv community aired the six-hour documentary sequence “Surviving R. Kelly,” during which a number of ladies accused him of sexual misconduct and abuse.

Los Angeles-based lawyer Gloria Allred mentioned she represents six ladies who’ve come ahead to accuse Kelly of sexual abuse, together with some who have been featured within the documentary. But she mentioned none of her purchasers are included within the Cook County case.

At least 4 regulation enforcement businesses outdoors Cook County have opened investigations into her purchasers’ complaints, Allred informed a information convention on Monday, together with the New York Police Department and federal prosecutors in Brooklyn.

Reporting by Karen Pierog, further reporting by Jackie Botts and Jonathan Allen in New York; modifying by Bill Tarrant and Jonathan Oatis

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Source link reuters.com

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