UPDATE 12/4: The Illinois judge overseeing Cook County’s case against R. Kelly assigned a tentative September 14th, 2020 start date for the singer’s trial on state charges, which would follow Kelly’s federal trials in New York and Chicago, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. At Wednesday’s hearing, when Kelly’s lawyer Steven Greenberg protested the trial’s start date due to its proximity to the singer’s federal cases, Judge Lawrence Flood replied, “I’m giving you more than a year to prepare for trial” following Kelly’s May 2019 arrest on state charges.
UPDATE: R. Kelly pleaded not guilty to 11 new counts of sexual assault and abuse on Thursday during his court hearing in Chicago. Prosecutors did not request that the judge raise the singer’s bond amount, and Kelly is expected back in court on June 26th, Associated Press reports.
R. Kelly was charged with 11 new counts of sexual assault and abuse stemming from an alleged January 2010 incident, the Chicago Sun Times reports.
The new set of charges, which Cook County prosecutors filed Thursday, are the most serious R. Kelly has faced so far. They include four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, two counts of criminal sexual assault by force, two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and three counts of aggravated sexual abuse against a victim aged 13 to 16. The four aggravated criminal sexual assault charges are classified as Class X felonies and carry a potential prison sentence of up to 30 years. Kelly is scheduled to appear in court June 6th.
Per court documents, Kelly allegedly forced the victim to perform multiple sexual acts, including oral sex and penetration. The identity of the victim is unknown, though as the Sun Times notes, it could be one of the same victims in the previous case brought against R. Kelly, as both are referred to by the initials “J.P.”
Speaking with the Sun Times, R. Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg said, “We’ll see what the charges are, and we’ll proceed accordingly. I know this much: it’s old. They’re allegations from years ago.” A representative for the Cook County state’s attorneys office did not immediately return Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.
In February, Kelly was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for allegedly abusing four women, three of whom were underage at the time. He has pleaded not guilty and since been released on $1 million bond.
Along with the deluge of criminal charges, Kelly is also facing a civil suit brought by one woman, who is referred to by the initials “H.W.” in the February charges. While a judge granted a default judgement against the singer in April for ignoring the suit, that decision was later vacated after the singer’s lawyer claimed Kelly was illiterate and never responded to the court summonses. A new court date was set for June 19th.