Newstalk
Newstalk

08.52 26 Feb 2019


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US singer R Kelly has pleaded not guilty to charges that he sexually abused four people - including three underage girls - following allegations dating back to 1998.

Kelly, who was arrested on Friday and is facing 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse, has now been freed on bail, allowing him to leave prison while awaiting trial.

The 52-year-old appeared in court wearing an orange prison jumpsuit after spending the weekend in a Chicago prison, which holds 7,000 inmates.

Bail for Kelly - whose full name is Robert Kelly - was set at US$1m on Saturday and the Grammy Award winner was required to pay 10% of that - US$100,000 (€88,051) - to be released.

Conditions for his release include no contact with females below the age of 18.

While arguing for a bail amount within the singer's ability to pay, his lawyer Steve Greenberg said he was not wealthy despite decades of success making hit songs.

The lawyer cited mismanagement and bad contracts among other issues for his financial troubles.

Mr Greenberg insisted Kelly was not a flight risk, referring to his song 'I Believe I Can Fly', adding: "Contrary to the song, Mr Kelly doesn't like to fly."

Alleged video evidence

Michael Avenatti, a lawyer representing two alleged victims, said his team had given prosecutors a second video, which he alleges shows Kelly sexually assaulting a minor.

He said he had already given prosecutors a video allegedly showing Kelly having sex with an underage girl.

Details of the allegations against the performer emerged on Saturday when the prosecution released four detailed documents, one for each alleged victim, outlining the basis for the charges.

A girl who attended Kelly's child pornography trial in 2008 - in which he was later acquitted - got his autograph after a hearing and was later invited to his Chicago home when she was 16, where they allegedly had sex multiple times, according to the documents.

Another girl claims she met Kelly at a restaurant where she was having her 16th birthday party. The two allegedly had sex periodically for a year.

A third alleged victim claims she thought she was going to braid the singer's hair but alleges that he pulled down his pants and tried to force her to give him oral sex.

The woman, who was 24, claims she was able to pull away but that Kelly ejaculated on her and spat in her face.

After Saturday's bail hearing, Mr Greenberg told reporters Kelly did not force anyone to have sex, adding: "He's a rock star. He doesn't have to have non-consensual sex."

The musician, who has written hits for numerous others including Celine Dion, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga, was tried and acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008 and has consistently denied any sexual misconduct.

The singer's next court date is March 22nd.

Main image: Singer R Kelly (centre) leaves the Cook County Jail, with his lawyer Steve Greenberg, after posting bond in Chicago | Image: Chicago Tribune/TNS/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images


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Alleged Video Evidence Bail Chicago Not Guilty Plea R. Kelly Sex Abuse Charges Steve Greenberg

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