Singer R Kelly pleads not guilty to sexual assault charges

The R&B artist is charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse involving three teenage girls and a woman.

R Kelly
In this photo taken and released by the Chicago Police Department on February 22, R&B singer R Kelly is photographed during booking at a police station in Chicago [File: Chicago Police Department/AP]

Grammy-winning R&B artist R Kelly has pleaded not guilty during an appearance in a Chicago court to charges that he sexually assaulted three teenage girls and a woman.

Kelly, who has faced years of sexual abuse allegations, turned himself in to authorities on Friday after he was charged and was ordered held on a $1m bond at a bail hearing on Saturday.

The 52-year-old performer, whose real name is Robert Kelly, is charged under a 10-count indictment with sexually assaulting three teenagers and a woman in alleged incidents dating back to 1998. Each count carries a maximum of 10 years in prison.

On Monday, Kelly appeared before Cook County Judge Lawrence Flood dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit and spoke only to confirm his name. His lawyer, Steven Greenberg, entered a not guilty plea on Kelly’s behalf.

Prosecutors say the victims include a teenager whom Kelly met when she sought an autograph during his previous trial on child pornography charges, another whom he met at her 16th birthday party and his hairdresser, who was then 24. The singer was acquitted of the pornography charges.

A fourth charge is based on a videotape that purportedly shows Kelly and a 14-year-old girl engaged in sexual acts, according to prosecutors. 


On Monday, lawyer Michael Avenatti, who represents two Kelly accusers, says his legal team has turned over to prosecutors a second video that allegedly shows Kelly sexually abusing a minor.

Avenatti told reporters that the second video involves the same victim, is about 55 minutes long and is from around 1999 or 2000.

The lawyer says he has learned of a third tape but did not provide details about it.

On Saturday, Kelly’s lawyer told reporters his client had been devastated by the charges.

“We haven’t seen any evidence, any reason to believe these allegations are credible,” Greenberg said. “He’s a rock star. He doesn’t need to have nonconsensual sex.”

The charges against the performer came just weeks after the Lifetime television network aired a six-hour documentary series entitled “Surviving R Kelly” in which multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct and abuse.

His next court appearance was set for March 22.

Source: News Agencies