R. Kelly pleads not guilty in Brooklyn federal court on sexual abuse charges

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DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN -

R. Kelly pleaded not guilty to sex charges Friday, with the judge saying he will be held without bail. 

The R&B singer is facing several charges in New York, as he is accused of sexually abusing women and underage girls, as well as sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping and forced labor.

Court papers have identified five alleged victims. Prosecutors say that R. Kelly arranged for women to meet with him for illegal sexual activity.

They say the victims were transported to different states, alleging the crimes happened not only in New York but also in Illinois, Connecticut and California.

Investigators detailed an incident where they say the 52-year-old had a victim travel to a show out on Long Island and had unprotected sex with her, giving her a sexually transmitted disease. They say this happened in 2017, but the crimes are said to date back two decades.

Kelly's attorney says the accusers are “disgruntled groupies.”

Federal agents searched the musician’s home several weeks ago. The U.S. Attorney General’s Office says fame and power will not shield anyone from prosecution.

Prosecutors asked the judge Friday to deny bail after Kelly was charged in Chicago in 2002 for obstructing justice while on bail.

The next status conference will be in early October. Kelly’s attorney says they have plans to ask the judge to reconsider letting him out on bail.

 

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