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R. Kelly Pleads Not Guilty to Sexual Abuse Charges

UPDATED: R. Kelly has posted $100,000 bail and is expected to be released from jail shortly, according to the Associated Press.

R. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to all 10 counts of criminal sexual abuse leveled against him at hearing in Chicago Monday morning.

Judge Lawrence Flood kept the singer’s bail at $1 million, with $100,000 required for him to bond out, according to the Associated Press. Steven Greenberg, the singer’s attorney, said over the weekend that Kelly staffers were working to raise the money. He has remained in jail since turning himself in to authorities Friday night after his indictment earlier that day.

His next hearing is scheduled for March 22, although he is due in court on March 6 for a hearing related to his outstanding child-support payments of around $160,000. Flood clarified that those payments need not be made in order for Kelly to secure his release.

In a hearing Saturday, Kelly stared at the ground in front of him as Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Gonzalez read off a proffer of the evidence against him in four separate cases of alleged sexual abuse, which took place between 1998 and 2010. The alleged victims — three of whom were minors — were identified only by their initials in the press conferences and legal documents.

During a press conference following Kelly’s hearing on Saturday, Cook County State Attorney Kimberly Fox read off details and graphic descriptions of the charges against the singer, prompting news outlets to cut away from the livestream. They involve a girl who met Kelly at a restaurant while celebrating her 16th birthday; a hairdresser who Kelly attempted to force to perform oral sex on him; a girl who Kelly met outside his 2008 child-pornography trial and with whom he had several sexual encounters afterward; and another who was forced to watch a videotape of Kelly having sex with a girl who said on the tape that she was 14 years old (this may be the same tape, or at least the same girl, referenced in Kelly’s child-pornography trial). The documents claim to have DNA evidence connecting Kelly to the incidents. Some details are outlined in the criminal complaint released Friday and the bond proffer embedded below.

“I think all the women are lying,” Greenberg told reporters. “Mr. Kelly is strong, he’s got a lot of support and he’s going to be vindicated on all these charges — one by one, if it has to be.”

The indictment came just days after sex tape reportedly surfaced featuring Kelly engaging in sexual acts with an underage girl, according to CNN and the New Yorker. A grand jury was reportedly convened in the case in Cook County, Illinois, earlier this week, and TMZ reported early Friday that two women had testified.

Kelly has multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against him dating back 25 years, although he has never been convicted. Most recently, two women came forward in a press conference on Thursday, accusing Kelly of misconduct when they were 16 and 15 years old, respectively. Kelly has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

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