R. Kelly in court as judge issues $1 million bond and calls allegations ‘disturbing’

R. Kelly arrested on sexual abuse charges, Chicago, USA - 23 Feb 2019
R&B superstar R. Kelly, after turning himself in, in his booking photo, which was released Saturday by Chicago police.
(Chicago Police Department)

The singer R. Kelly appeared in Chicago court Saturday to face charges that he sexually abused four women.

The 52-year-old Kelly turned himself in to police Friday in Chicago, where he faces 10 charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Each charge carries a potential sentence of 3 to 7 years in prison.

Kelly’s bond was set at $1 million, of which he is required to post $100,000 for his release.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx first announced the charges, which stem from incidents as far back as 1998, at a news conference. Some of the charges came after attorney Michael Avenatti produced a video that, he alleges, shows Kelly engaged in sex with a then-14-year-old girl. Avenatti said that he was working to hand over at least two other similar tapes to prosecutors.


ALSO: R. Kelly surrenders on 10 counts of sexual abuse »

Three of the alleged victims were between 13 and 17 years old. The charges included one relating to a 2003 incident in which Kelly allegedly sexually assaulted his hairdresser in Chicago. Prosecutors say DNA found on the hairdresser’s clothing matches Kelly’s.

Prosecutors also say they matched DNA from separate incidents in which Kelly allegedly sexually abused a girl who had once sought his autograph during his 2008 trial for child pornography charges.

Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. described the allegations against Kelly as “disturbing” and denied him any contact with victims or witnesses, or anyone under the age of 18.


Dressed in a black hoodie, Kelly was silent as his attorney Steve Greenberg made unexpectedly lighthearted allusions to Kelly’s single “I Believe I Can Fly” during the hearing.

“Contrary to the song, Mr. Kelly doesn’t like to fly,” Greenberg said.

Greenberg told the Associated Press that Kelly is “extraordinarily disappointed and depressed” by the spate of charges.

Meanwhile, attorney Gloria Allred appeared with two new accusers at a news conference Thursday. Allred alleges that Kelly abused the then-teenage girls and statutorily raped one of them.

Kelly has denied all the charges against him.

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