R. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to 11 new counts of sexual assault and abuse, four of which are Class X felonies. The R&B singer/songwriter appeared at an arraignment in the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago.
Standing in front of the judge, Kelly, with his hands folded in front of him, is said to have listened as the 11 charges were read out, and then when asked if he understood them, he replied, “Yes, sir.”
Four of the 11 charges against the ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ star is for aggravated criminal sexual assault and are classified as Class X felonies. Each of these charges carries a minimum of six years and a maximum of 30 years in prison if found guilty. Prosecutors did not ask the judge to raise the bond amount for Kelly during the hearing.
In February, it was reported that R. Kelly had been charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse and could be facing between 30 and 70 years in prison if convicted. Kelly has always denied any wrongdoing.
The singer, 52, has been accused of abuse by several women and girls. Claims of sexual abuse have plagued the R&B star for more than two decades but came to a head recently with the broadcast of the Surviving R Kelly docuseries which featured interviews with his alleged victims.
By Damilola Faustino