R. Kelly’s bond has been set at $1 million by a Chicago judge Saturday in the first hearing since the R&B star was charged with sexually abusing four people. The bond requires Kelly to post $100,000 to be released.
Cook County Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. is the same judge who presided over “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett’s bond hearing earlier this week.
During the hearing, defense attorney Steve Greenberg told the judge Kelly wasn’t a flight risk, saying, “Contrary to the song, Mr. Kelly doesn’t like to fly,” in reference to the Grammy-award winner’s hit “I Believe I Can Fly.”
The judge called the allegations against Kelly “disturbing” and said the bail amount equals $250,000 for each of the four people Kelly is charged with abusing. The singer stared at the floor as the judge spoke.
A prosecutor told the judge Kelly met with one of the people he’s charged with sexually abusing during his 2008 child pornography trial. The accuser gave law enforcement a shirt that had Kelly’s DNA on it, the prosecutor said.
Kelly, who was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008, has consistently denied any sexual misconduct.
During a press conference after the hearing, Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx provided more details on the accusers, which include Kelly’s then-24-year-old hairdresser, two 16-year-olds and one person who was 14 years old at the time of the first alleged incident. The multiple alleged criminal acts of sexual assault date back to 1998.
Greenberg rejected the allegations to reporters Saturday, saying, “He is a rock star. He doesn’t have to have nonconsensual sex.” He added that Kelly is trying to get the bond money together and hopes to get out of jail later Saturday.
Kelly is due back in court Monday, where he’ll learn which judge has been assigned his case, according to Chicago Tribune Guild reporter Megan Crepeau and City Bureau reporter Kim Bellware.
Kelly, 52, surrendered to police at 8:15 p.m. Friday night, hours after being charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
Some of the charges stem from a newly discovered video found by attorney Michael Avenatti that allegedly shows Kelly having sex with a 14-year-old girl, according to a copy of the indictment obtained by USA TODAY.
Greenberg said earlier in the day that the singer had been “shell-shocked” by the charges. He told The Associated Press that his client is “extraordinarily disappointed and depressed” about the charges.
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