Singer R. Kelly arrives at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on June 06, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo (Getty Images)
Robert “R.” Kelly appeared at a brief hearing at Cook County Court in Chicago on Thursday for an arraignment regarding the 11 additional sex-related felony charges against him. The 52-year-old artist pleaded not guilty to the charges.
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According to Billboard, the new charges include four aggravated sexual assault charges. Those four counts each carry a maximum prison term of 30 years.
As ABC News reports:
According to the new indictment, the first eight counts are from encounters that allegedly occurred between Jan. 1 and Jan. 31, 2010. Three others pertain to alleged encounters between May 1, 2009, and Jan. 31, 2010.
Among other things, prosecutors allege that Kelly used force or threatened to do so to pressure the accuser into sex or to perform oral sex on him. Since she was underage at the time, the statute of limitations for bringing charges was extended to 20 years from her 18th birthday, they wrote.
A woman has come forward to say publicly that 11 new felony counts stem from allegations she made about the R&B singer.
Jerhonda Pace wrote on her Facebook page that she’s the accuser identified as “J.P.” in court documents. Anticipating an angry reaction by Kelly’s fans, Pace — one of four women Kelly is charged with sexually abusing — wrote that “no matter how “wrong” you think I am, the law is on my side, a MINOR at the time.”
Prosecutors did not request that the judge raise the bond amount. Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg noted he was confused as to why prosecutors brought additional charges pertaining to the existing February case involving four women, three of whom were minors at the time of the alleged abuse.
“It’s the same case. It’s just that they’ve just changed what they’ve charged him with,” Greenberg noted to ABC. “It’s the same facts … the same bond, the same evidence. We expect the same result.”
“Initially, he was a little depressed,” Kelly’s spokesperson Darryll Johnson told ABC, before adding that he is now “upbeat.” “But I mean, with anything, if someone accuses you of something, you’ll be depressed. He knows the truth.”
On Monday, a former employee of the self-proclaimed “Pied Piper of R&B” testified to a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Illinois that Kelly routinely recorded sex acts with underaged girls and kept the tapes as “trophies.” According to TMZ, the tapes have now been handed to the feds.
“It’s tough. Everything is against him,” Greenberg said to ABC, in regards to his client, following the hearing.
A status hearing is scheduled for June 26.