Grammy-winning singer R. Kelly, who has faced years of sexual abuse allegations, has been ordered held on a $1 million bond on charges that he sexually assaulted three teenagers and a woman.
One was a 16-year-old fan who sought R. Kelly’s autograph during his 2008 child pornography trial.
Another was his 24-year-old hairdresser. According to documents released by prosecutors Saturday, Kelly grabbed her by the head, tried to force her to perform oral sex and then ejaculated on her, leaving his DNA.
A third victim, prosecutors said, was a girl Kelly met at a restaurant during her 16th birthday celebration. Her mother was concerned about Kelly’s interest, so he helped her navigate around her parents.
According to prosecutors, he instructed the girl to take a cab to his studio after her father had dropped her at school. There, he gave her an envelope with “a large sum of money,” and they began a once-a-month sexual relationship that lasted for about a year.
In revealing details of their case at a bond hearing in Chicago on Saturday, prosecutors portrayed Kelly as a man who repeatedly used his fame to draw girls and women into his orbit and then turned them into targets for his sexual gratification.
After surrendering Friday to face 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four women, three of whom were minors at the time, Kelly, 52, was ordered held Saturday on a $1 million bond. He did not make bail Saturday, and “it looks like he will be at the jail for the night,” according to a spokeswoman from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.
He also had to surrender his passport and was told not to have contact with any of his accusers or anyone under the age of 18.
“We’re happy to turn in his passport,” said Kelly’s lawyer, Steven Greenberg.
Kelly did not enter a plea, although his lawyer has claimed that the women testifying against him are liars.
Kelly has been through the court system before, in a child pornography trial that stemmed from a video that prosecutors said showed him having sex with, and urinating on, an underage girl. Several witnesses identified her, but the girl refused to testify and Kelly’s lawyers argued that her identity could not be known for certain. He was acquitted on all counts.
Kim Foxx, the Cook County state’s attorney, said Saturday that one of the four women in the new cases is that same girl. The documents released Saturday say prosecutors have a new videotape showing the girl having sex with Kelly and making reference to being 14.
By Robert Chiarito and Elizabeth A. Harris © 2019 The New York Times