r kelly pleads not guilty to sex abuse charges

R. Kelly pleads not guilty to sex abuse charges



R. Kelly appeared in court in Chicago Monday and his attorney entered a not guilty plea to sex abuse charges against the singer.
Kelly wore an orange jumpsuit and held his hands behind his back during the proceedings. Kelly’s case has been assigned to Judge Lawrence Flood and his next court date is scheduled for March 22.

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Kelly is facing ten counts of aggravated sexual abuse with four alleged victims including three underage girls. The Grammy-winning artist has sold more than 40 million albums in his career.

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He has yet to post his $100,000 bail, and his attorney says he needs to sort out his finances. Kelly is expected to bond out of jail Monday.

The landlord at Kelly’s West Loop recording studio claims he owes more than $174,000 in back rent, and earlier this month a judge ordered him to pay $161,000 he owes in child support. Judge Flood said he does not have to pay the back child support before he posts bond.

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“He’s in high spirits considering what’s going on,” Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg said. “No one wants to be in jail.”

Greenberg cited problems with getting money out of the bank over the weekend caused the delay in posting bond. He denied that child support payments affected Kelly’s ability to post bond.

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While behind bars, Kelly is being isolated away from the general population in the jail.

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Attorney Michael Avenatti said he will provide a second video showing R. Kelly engaged in sexual assault of a minor to prosecutors Monday morning.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx detailed the charges Friday afternoon. Three of the four victims were between the ages 13 and 17 when the alleged abuse occurred, with Kelly being more than five years older than the victims, Foxx said. The alleged abuse took place between September 1998 and January 2010. The indictment papers do not say where the alleged crimes took place.

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Foxx referred to the victims by their initials. The first victim said she was abused four times, between May 26, 1998 and May 25, 1999. The second victim said she was abused twice, between Sept. 26, 1998 and Sept. 25, 2001. The third victim said she was abused on Feb. 18, 2003. The fourth victim said she was abuse three times, between May 1, 2009 and Jan. 31, 2010.

READ: R. Kelly indictment documents

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In the indictment, the prosecution addresses the question of the statute of limitations, which is likely to be raised by the defense. It describes how prosecutors can charge Kelly under Illinois law even though the alleged crimes occurred as much as two decades ago.

The indictment says in at least one instance, the abuse of a minor occurred between 1998 and 1999 but that it clearly fell within the 20-year charging window allowed under Illinois law. The 20-year period only begins, it says, after a victim turns 18.

Foxx said aggravated criminal sexual abuse is a class 2 felony. If convicted, Kelly could face up to seven years in prison for each count. If a judge decides the sentences should be consecutive, he could be sentenced to up to 70 years in prison. Foxx said probation is an option.

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