R. Kelly Pleads Not Guilty to 11 New Charges of Sexual Abuse and Assault
In court in Illinois last week, R. Kelly was charged with 11 new counts of sexual assault and abuse, including four Class X felony charges. which come with a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. In his arraignment today, the disgraced R&B star pleaded not guilty to all 11, as the Chicago Tribune and the Associated Press report. The charges stem from Kelly’s alleged behavior toward one woman identified as J.P. in the filing, who was reportedly underage at the time of her relationship with Kelly.
In February, R. Kelly was charged with 10 additional counts of criminal sexual abuse, to which he has also pled not guilty. These charges named four alleged victims, including J.P. Two of the other women mentioned in that filing were also reportedly underage at the time of the alleged crimes. Kelly was released on bond for $100,000 at that time; in today’s hearing, prosecutors did not ask for the judge to raise the bond amount.
Earlier this month, a judge in Chicago ruled that a civil lawsuit against Kelly, filed by Heather Williams, one of the victims named in that second group of charges, will be allowed to continue. The singer’s attorneys had argued that Kelly originally did not respond to the lawsuit because of a learning disability that “adversely affects his ability to read.” A default judgement was originally awarded in the case but has since been vacated; the next court date in that case takes place on June 19.