R. Kelly Pleads Not Guilty to Sexual Abuse Charges


Courtesy of E! News

Ashley Kim, Editor-in-Chief

  On February 25th, R&B singer R. Kelly pleaded not guilty for an alleged ten counts of aggravated sexual abuse. Kelly was held in jail until Monday.

  Attorney Steven Greenberg spoke on behalf of Kelly at the Cook County criminal court in Chicago. The singer paid $100,000 to be released—

10% of the $1 million posted bond.

  Against Kelly, four victims have stepped forward, three of which are underage. One is a teenage autograph seeker who allegedly had sex with Kelly at 16 years old. Another is a girl who met Kelly at her 16th birthday party at a restaurant. And another is Kelly’s hairdresser, a 24-year-old who claims that Kelly tried to force her to perform oral sex on him.

  The fourth victim dates back to 2002, when Kelly was arrested for child pornography charges after a tape showed him having sex with a 14-year-old girl.  In 2008, the singer was fully acquitted after the girl refused to testify. However, on Monday, prosecutors claimed that they had a second tape involving the same girl and Kelly in a separate incident.

  Lawyer Michael Avenatti, who gave the tape to law enforcement and represents two of the victims, said, “The conduct in the tape can be described as nothing short of outrageous, illegal. It leaves no question as to Mr. Kelly’s guilt.”

  In reaction to the case brought against the singer, Keertana Panyam (9) said, “With this many victims and as much evidence as there is, there’s no reason to doubt whether or not he is guilty.”

  Kelly has been accused of sexual abuse for years, but has never been convicted.  However, “Surviving R. Kelly,” a documentary series that aired in January 2019, detailed all the allegations against him and brought accusations into light again.

  “We have encountered a number of additional witnesses who we have interviewed, who we are in the process of preparing to meet with prosecutors,” Avenatti stated.  “Each of these witnesses describe a decades—

long system of abuse by Mr. Kelly of underage girls.”

  Lindsey Kim (11), a member of speech and debate, remarked, “The #MeToo movement is doing a lot for victims of sexual abuse.  Although Kelly is innocent until proven guilty, there is an abundance of incriminating evidence and victims that he must be guilty. Justice should be served for all the years of sexual abuse.”

  Kelly has remained silent throughout the case.  However, his lawyer, Greenberg, has denied all accusations, commenting, “Everyone is entitled to a defense.  Everybody is entitled to the presumption of innocence. We should all be taking a step back. Let’s see what happens, what the evidence is and how this plays out.”

  The next court date is set for March 22nd.