R Kelly has pleaded not guilty in his latest appearance (Picture: AP)
R Kelly has responded to new sexual abuse charges as he this week pleaded not guilty to knowingly exposing two people to herpes.
The Ignition singer’s arraignment took place via telephone conference on Thursday (30.05.20), due to Covid-19 lockdown, where various new sexual abuse charges were discussed.
Calling into the hearing from the Chicago jail where he is currently being detained, Magistrate Judge Cheryl L Pollak asked Kelly: ‘I take it, sir, you do understand English? To which he replied: ‘Yes, ma’am.’
The disgraced singer – real name Robert Kelly –again spoke to confirm he was waiving his right to appear in court in person.
The 53-year-old’s lawyer confirmed they would ‘enter a plea of not guilty to all of the charges’, while another member of his legal team said the jail has an ‘additional new medical report’ and were hoping to get a copy.
The nine-count indictment – which was filed on 12 March – relates to claims of alleged racketeering and sexual abuse.
The singer remains in prison (Picture: AP)
In it, it’s said a minor female and an adult woman (referred to as Jane Doe #5 and Jane Doe #6) were exposed to herpes when Kelly ‘engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse’ with them.
Kelly is accused of not first informing the minor ‘that he had contracted herpes and obtaining her consent to sexual intercourse in these circumstances’.
The adult partner ‘ultimately learned that she had contracted herpes during the course of her relationship with the defendant’, according to reports.
Racketeering charges also allege Kelly – who has been held without bond since last July – identified underage fans at his concert and groomed them for later abuse.
He also faces charges in Chicago for allegedly conspiring with manager Derrel McDavid and former employee Milton ‘June’ Brown to rig his 2008 child pornography trial by paying off witnesses to change their stories, as well as paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to retrieve child sex abuse tapes before prosecutors saw them.
In addition, charges are pending in Minnesota which allege Kelly solicited a teenage autograph hunter in 2001, and he’s been charged in four separate indictments in Cook County alleging he sexually assaulted or abused four women, three of whom were underage at the time.
He has pleaded not guilty to all allegations against him.
It follows Kelly’s rejected request to be released early amid the coronavirus pandemic.
After an earlier failed attempt his legal team filed another request for the singer to be freed from the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) Chicago, where at least 23 inmates had tested positive for coronavirus, the Chicago Tribune reports.
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However according to TMZ, a judge was not convinced by R Kelly’s motion and said there was not enough evidence to support claims that he is a flight risk.
Kelly argued that he wasn’t a flight risk as he has so far showed up to scheduled court appearances.