R. Kelly pleads not guilty to 11 counts of sexual assault

R. Kelly mugshot. Photo: Chicago Police Department

June 7 (UPI) — Singer R. Kelly pleaded not guilty in a Chicago courthouse Thursday to 11 new charges related to alleged sexual assault of a teenage fan in 2010.

Cook County prosecutors filed the 11 new charges last week against the 52-year-old R&B star, born Robert Sylvester Kelly.

The new 11-count indictment centering on an alleged victim identified only by the initials J.P. replaces charges filed in February.

The new indictment alleges that in January 2010 Kelly forced himself on J.P., abused her and threatened her life. Prosecutors previously alleged that Kelly slapped and choked her during his sexual encounters with her, which began when she was underage.

Kelly, who was acquitted at a 2008 child pornography trial involving an infamous tape, initially met J.P. over a decade ago as a fan at that trial.

Four felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault were added in the new indictment, which means that Kelly could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted. Under previous charges, Kelly faced up to seven years in prison if convicted with the possibility of probation.

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Kelly also faces separate indictments of alleged sexual abuse against three other women, two of whom were underage at the time.

He was first charged in February with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of J.P. and three other alleged victims spanning from 1998 to 2010. He was released from Cook County Jail after three nights in custody in February after a friend posted 10 percent of his $1 million bond.

Judge Lawrence Floor did not require Kelly to pay more bond money on the new charges, which allows him to remain free on the $1 million bond.

Kelly is expected back in court on June 26.

Two days before Thursday’s hearing Jim DeRogatis, journalist and music critic at the Chicago Sun-Times published a 300-page account of nearly two decades of reporting on accusations from teenage girls and young women of sexual and physical abuse against Kelly.

“Everything is against him,” Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, said at presser outside the courtroom Thursday.

Greenberg added that Kelly’s accusers “are not victims.”

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