R. Kelly Pleads Not Guilty to Sex Abuse Charges

R. Kelly pleaded not guilty in Chicago on Monday, days after he was indicted on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Mr. Kelly appeared in court in an orange jumpsuit with “DOC” printed on the back.

Prosecutors in Chicago have put forward four victims, including one teenage autograph seeker whom they say Mr. Kelly, the R&B singer, had sex with for months beginning when she was 16-years old.

Another was a girl he met at a restaurant at her 16th birthday celebration.

A third was a 24-year-old hair dresser of his, who told prosecutors that Mr. Kelly tried to force her to perform oral sex on him. Court documents said she reported that incident to law enforcement within two years of when it occurred and handed over a shirt she was wearing that day, which DNA analysis showed had his semen on it. It was not clear why Mr. Kelly was not charged in connection with this at the time. His lawyer, Steven Greenberg, has said it may have been a consensual encounter.

[Read more about the case here.]

For years, Mr. Kelly, whose real name is Robert Kelly, seemed largely immune to accusations that he sexually abused minors and kept women in a cultlike environment, shielded by a series of nondisclosure agreements tied to confidential settlements with women who say he victimized them. But his behavior came under renewed scrutiny in January after the documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which chronicled the allegations against him, aired on lifetime.

He was arrested in 2002 on child pornography charges, stemming from a tape prosecutors said showed him having sex with and urinating on an underage girl. But in 2008, he was acquitted on all counts after the girl prosecutors said was in the tape refused to testify.

That same girl is now the fourth victim in the new cases against him, prosecutors said. They also have said that they have a different tape of Mr. Kelly and the girl having sex, and Michael Avenatti, the celebrity lawyer who gave the video to law enforcement, has said that it is a recording of a difference incident than the earlier tape, which removes any concern about double jeopardy.

Mr. Avenatti announced on Twitter on Monday morning that he had obtained a second video of Mr. Kelly “engaged in sexual assault of a minor” and that he would give it to prosecutors.

Mr. Kelly had not yet posted bond — which was set at $1 million — Monday morning. Mr. Kelly’s next court date will be March 22.

Source: Read Full Article