R. Kelly pleads not guilty to fresh sexual assault charges
R. Kelly pleaded not guilty to 11 additional charges of sexual assault on Thursday, including four counts that could land him in prison for as much as 30 years.
Prosecutors didn’t ask a Chicago judge to raise the bond amount for Kelly during the brief hearing in Cook County court.
The disgraced Grammy-winning singer only said, “Yes, sir” when asked by Judge Lawrence Flood whether he understood the new charges against him.
Then, he walked out of court without commenting to reporters.
The 11 new counts include four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, which carry a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.
In February, Kelly was charged with 10 counts of sex assault.
After the hearing, his lawyer Steve Greenberg said the fresh charges involve one of the four women he was originally charged with sexually abusing years ago. Three of those alleged victims included minors.
“It’s the same case. It’s just that they’ve just changed what they’ve charged him with,” Greenberg said. “It’s the same facts … the same bond, the same evidence. We expect the same result.”
According to the new indictment, the first eight counts involve incidents that allegedly occurred between Jan. 1 and Jan. 31, 2010. Three others pertain to alleged encounters between May 1, 2009 and Jan. 31, 2010.
Prosecutors accuse Kelly of using force or threatening the women to have sex with him or perform sex acts on him.
One of the accusers, Jerhonda Pace, who is identified as “JP” in court documents, is one of the four women Kelly is charged with abusing.
“No matter how ‘wrong’ you think I am, the law is on my side, a MINOR at the time,” she wrote on Facebook last week.
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