On Tuesday, American singer R Kelly has claimed himself as guiltless in a Chicago courtroom. He was accused of recruiting girls and women to have illegal sex with him. Kelly was directed to be held without bail after prosecutors argued he was a risk to minors and may try to escape.
The 52-year-old R&B star was also accused of covering up the crimes by paying and threatening the victims and witnesses. Earlier, the musician was already charged with more than 20 alleged sexual crimes, all of which he has denied.
According to the sources, R Kelly remained silent in court on Tuesday expect to say “yes sir” in reply to Judge Harry Leinenweber’s question if he understood the charges against him. His attorney submitted a not guilty plea on his behalf. Last week, two different federal charges were filed against Kelly in Chicago and Brooklyn.
The charges against the star and his associates claimed recruiting and transporting underage girls over the states for illegal sexual purposes, production of child pornography as well as conspiracy to obstruct justice by destroying evidence and bribing or threatening witnesses.
Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, said in a statement that his client was “aware of the investigations and the charges were not a surprise”. He further claimed that his client would “look forward to his day in court, to the truth coming out and to his vindication from what has been an unprecedented assault by others for their own personal gain.”
Lawyer Michael Avenatti who is representing three of the star’s alleged victims claimed on Monday that Kelly paid $2m (£1.6m) to silence a witness in a previous trial. On Monday, he also claimed that Kelly paid at least one associate $100,000 (£80,000) to hunt down videos of him having sex with a minor that had gone missing.