R. Kelly Pleads Not Guilty To All 10 Counts Of Sex Abuse, Can’t Post $100K Bail
Prosecutors say they have incriminating video; the victim's attorney claims to have a second tape.
CHICAGO, IL — Controversial R&B singer R. Kelly, 52, has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four alleged victims, three of whom were reportedly underage girls. Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, entered the plea for his client in a Chicago courtroom on Monday morning.
Police arrested and charged Kelly this past Friday. Cook County State's Attorney Kimberly Foxx alleged that the incidents of abuse took place over 12 years, between 1998 and 2010.
Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. set the singer’s bond at $1 million. Kelly has apparently been unable to make bail by raising 10 percent of that amount — $100,000. As a result, the music star has spent the past three nights behind bars.
Prosecutors have mentioned new evidence against Kelly, including DNA samples from multiple alleged victims, and a video that reportedly depicts Kelly engaging in sexual acts with a 14-year-old girl. One victim’s lawyer now claims to have a second sex tape.
In addition to the sex charges, the arrest has put a spotlight on Kelly’s financial situation which Steve Greenberg, the singer’s attorney, described as “a mess.”
Defense lawyer Greenberg said Kelly is behind on his monthly $20,000 child-support responsibility, and owes more than $169,000 to his ex-wife in those payments. A judge ordered Kelly to pay $161,663 to his former spouse, but Greenberg said Kelly doesn’t have to clear up that debt before getting bailed out on the sex-abuse charges.
On top of that, Kelly faces eviction from his Chicago studio due to $166,000 in unpaid rent.
Greenberg blamed Kelly’s supposedly dire money situation on “bad deals” and “hangers on.” The attorney even invoked the singer’s signature hit by stating, “He really doesn’t have any money at this point. I don’t think he even owns the rights to ‘I Believe I Can Fly.’" Greenberg also told the judge that Kelly doesn’t pose a flight risk because, “Contrary to the song, Mr. Kelly doesn’t like to fly.”
State’s Attorney Foxx told the press Friday that one accuser supplied a shirt worn during an alleged sexual encounter and that the garment tested positive for Kelly’s DNA. Foxx said another accuser’s clothing is presently being tested. Foxx further alleged that Kelly spit on two other victims.
The prosecution also released four detailed documents to the public containing summaries of the allegations against R. Kelly. Each document corresponds with an individual accuser. Among the claims made are the following:
- Kelly gave his business card to a girl celebrating her 16th birthday at a restaurant in 1998. Prosecutors allege the girl contacted Kelly, and the pair had sex periodically in his recording studio for the next year.
- In 2004, according to prosecution documents, Kelly hired a 24-year-old woman to braid his hair. The woman accuses Kelly of pulling his pants down, attempting to force her into oral sex, ejaculating on her, and spitting in her face.
- While Kelly was on trial for child pornography in 2008, a 16-year-old girl reportedly asked for his autograph. Kelly then allegedly invited the girl to his home, where he choked, slapped, spit on, and had sex with the minor.
- A witness allegedly gave authorities access to a video of Kelly having sex with a 14-year-old. On the tape, the girl reportedly states her age multiple times.
On Monday, attorney Michael Avenatti, who is representing one of Kelly’s accusers, tweeted that he had a second tape. Avenatti is best known for recently representing adult-film performer Stormy Daniels in her legal battle with President Donald Trump.
In the meantime, Greenberg said actions are being taken to post Kelly’s $1 million bail, noting, “He has to rely on others acting on his behalf, and it’s just not that easy — because Kelly’s in jail.”
As for the charges against R. Kelly, Greenberg said succinctly, “I believe all the woman are lying…. He’s a rock star. He doesn’t have to have nonconsensual sex.”
Read more: USA Today, CNN, Chicago Sun-Times, The Smoking Gun