R Kelly on $1m bail over abuse charges
- 24 Feb 2019 --
A judge in the US has set R Kelly’s bail at $1m (£766,500) after the singer was charged with sexually abusing four females, including three minors.
The R&B star, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has faced decades of sexual abuse claims.He has never been convicted and has previously denied other allegations.
He turned himself in on Friday after an arrest warrant was issued. Even though bail was set at $1m, he will have to post $100,000 to secure his release.
He has been ordered to surrender his passport and to have no contact with anyone under the age of 18.
The 52-year-old’s court appearance comes just weeks after a documentary series called Surviving R Kelly aired. It contained decades of allegations of abuse against him from many women, including the singer’s ex-wife.
The judge chairing Saturday’s hearing was John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr, who presided over last week’s bail hearing for actor Jussie Smollett.
The actor is accused of staging a hoax hate crime against himself.
What are the allegations?
Kelly appeared in court on Saturday afternoon and faces 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
Prosecutors said that one of the cases relates to footage showing Kelly engaging in sex with a 14-year-old girl, according to the Associated Press. Kelly was previously acquitted over another video tape of a similar nature in 2008.
Kelly met another of the four girls, who was 16 at the time, when she asked for the singer’s autograph during the same trial.
Another accuser met Kelly at a restaurant as she celebrated her 16th birthday.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx previously said the singer could face a maximum of seven years in prison for each count.
What is R Kelly’s history?
Kelly has faced, and denied, accusations about sexual and physical abuse for decades.
In 1994 it was reported he married 15-year-old singer and musical protégé Aaliyah at a secret ceremony in Chicago when he was 27. US media said she had lied about her age on the certificate, and the marriage was later annulled.
In 2002 the star was charged with child pornography in Chicago over footage that appeared to show him engaging in intercourse, oral sex, urination, and other sexual acts with a girl said to be 13 or 14.
The case took six years to go to trial. Both Kelly and the girl alleged to be in the video denied it was them. Eventually the jury acquitted Kelly of all 14 charges against him.
In 2017, Kelly was forced to deny allegations that he was holding a number of young women captive in a so-called “abusive cult” after a bombshell report from BuzzFeed News.
He has also been sued privately by a number of women, including some who allege underage sexual relationships and another who says he “intentionally” infected her with a sexually transmitted disease.
The singer has continued to make music throughout the allegations.
There have been calls to boycott Kelly’s music – both recordings and performances – with people using the social media hashtag #MuteRKelly.
Ms Foxx had urged women to come forward after the documentary series aired.