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R Kelly pleads not guilty to sexual abuse charges

R Kelly mugshot
photo via Chicago Police Department

R. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to all ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse that he was charged with, Chicago Sun Times reports. His lawyer Steve Greenberg entered the plea on Kelly’s behalf at a hearing on Monday (2/25).

Kelly surrendered to the Chicago police on Friday (2/22) night after a warrant for his arrest was issued that afternoon; he has been incarcerated since as he is currently unable to pay the $100,000, 10 percent of his $1 million bond, needed for his release. UPDATE: Kelly left jail after posting bond on Monday afternoon, The Associated Press reports.

Greenberg called Kelly’s finances a “mess” and said “he’s trying to get it together.” Chicago Sun Times reports that according to the lawyer, Kelly also owes over $160,000 in back child support and $167,000 on his Near West Side studio.

Prosecutors released detailed about the allegations leading to Friday’s charges, The Detroit News reports:

A girl who attended Kelly’s child pornography trial in 2008 got his autograph after a court session. He later invited her to his home in the Chicago suburb of Olympia Fields, where they had sex multiple times starting the following May, when she was 16, according to the documents, which said he also slapped, choked and spit on the girl.

In 1998, another girl reported meeting Kelly at a restaurant where she was having a 16th birthday party. Kelly’s manager gave her the singer’s business card and suggested she call Kelly. The girl’s mother heard the exchange, took the card and told the manager her daughter was 16.

But her daughter later retrieved the card from her purse. She contacted Kelly, who told her to take a cab to his studio, where they had sex periodically for a year, the documents said. After the first encounter, she was given an envelope of cash.

In early 2003, a Chicago hairdresser told prosecutors that she thought she was going to braid Kelly’s hair, but he pulled down his pants and instead tried to force her to give him oral sex. The woman, who was 24, was able to pull away, but Kelly ejaculated on her and spit in her face, the documents said.

Prosecutors also described a witness who had access to videotapes showing Kelly having sex with a 14-year-old girl. The witness turned a tape over to authorities and identified the girl, who repeatedly stated her age on the footage, according to the documents.

Kelly’s DNA was found in semen on one of the accuser’s shirts, and semen found on a shirt worn by another was submitted for DNA testing, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said. It was not clear when the accusers turned the shirts over to authorities – whether it was shortly after the abuse or more recently.

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