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Singer R. Kelly posts bail, pleads not guilty to 10 charges of sex abuse

By
Ed Adamczyk and Darryl Coote
Singer R. Kelly pleaded not guilty in a Chicago courtroom on Monday to 10 charges of sexual abuse. Photo courtesy Chicago Police Department
Singer R. Kelly pleaded not guilty in a Chicago courtroom on Monday to 10 charges of sexual abuse. Photo courtesy Chicago Police Department

Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Rhythm and blues singer R. Kelly was released from Cook County Jail Monday evening after posting bail in his sexual abuse case.

The artist was indicted last week under his real name, Robert Sylvester Kelly. He has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against four people.

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Three of the accusers were under the age of 17 during incidents prosecutors said occurred between 1998 and 2010.

Kelly's bond was set at $1 million - $250,000 per accuser - but he remained in jail three days until Monday.

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To secure his freedom, the singer had to pay $100,000, 10 percent of the bond but was unable to do so immediately as his finances are "a mess," his lawyer Steven Greenberg said.

Greenberg said Kelly "is someone who should be wealthy at this point in his career, and through mismanagement, through people, hangers-on and bad contracts, bad deals, bad leases like he had on his studio, he doesn't really have any money at this point."

A 47-year-old woman who indicated herself to be "a friend" of the singer's on the bond slip paid Kelly's bail, according to court documents.

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Hours earlier, Kelly, in an orange jail uniform, appeared before Cook County Associate Judge Lawrence Flood with his attorney who entered the pleas of not guilty to all 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

The charges against Kelly include solicitation of an underage girl and sexual abuse, a year-long sexual relationship with a girl he met on her 16th birthday, an attempt to force his 24 year-old hairdresser to perform a sex act while he was free on bond during his 2008 child pornography trial, and videotaped sex with a young girl at his home in the late 1990s.

For decades, the singer has been surrounded by accusations of sexual impropriety, but matters intensified in January after the airing of a documentary television series that included interviews with women who said they'd been in abusive sexual relationships with Kelly.

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This month, attorney Michael Avenatti provided prosecutors with a videotape he said shows Kelly engaged in sex with a 14-year-old girl. Monday, Avenatti said he turned over a second videotape he said is connected to the case.

Kelly is scheduled to return to court on March 22.

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