Chicago – Singer R Kelly pleaded not guilty to a slew of new charges Thursday alleging he sexually assaulted a teenage fan who met him at his child pornography trial a decade ago.
The 11-count indictment, unveiled last week, replaces charges filed in February centering on an alleged victim identified as JP.
The new indictment adds more serious charges – four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault – against the R&B singer involving his alleged conduct with JP, whom prosecutors say was underage when Kelly began a sexual relationship with her.
The singer, 52, whose legal name is Robert Kelly, also still faces separate indictments charging he sexually abused three other women – two of whom were also underage at the time.
The four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault could carry decades in prison on conviction. Previously, the charges facing Kelly brought the potential of up to seven years in prison but left probation a possibility as well.
At Thursday’s brief hearing, Judge Lawrence Flood did not require Kelly to pay additional bond money on the new charges. He remains free on 1-million-dollar bond.
The new indictment’s aggravated criminal sexual assault counts allege that in January 2010 Kelly forced himself on JP while physically battering her. He also threatened or endangered her life, the charges alleged.
Prosecutors have previously said that Kelly slapped and choked JP during their sexual encounters.
Kelly is due back in court later this month on all four separate indictments.
He had first been charged in February with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving JP and the three other alleged victims over a span of a dozen years.
After surrendering to Chicago police, Kelly spent three nights in custody before a friend posted 100 000 dollars – 10 per cent of his 1 million dolalr bond – and he was released from Cook County Jail.
At Kelly’s bond hearing in February, prosecutors alleged that Kelly tried to force oral sex on his 24-year-old hairdresser in 2003 while he was free on bond on the then-pending child pornography charges.
Among the other allegations laid out by prosecutors were that he carried on a yearlong sexual relationship with a girl he had met in 1998 when she was celebrating her 16th birthday and that he videotaped himself having sex with a young girl at his home in Olympia Fields in the late 1990s.
The charges come at a time of intensifying professional trouble for Kelly, who has been targeted by the social media movement #MuteRKelly that called on streaming services and radio stations to drop his music and concert promoters to stop booking him.
In a sensational trial in 2008, Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges alleging he filmed himself having sex with his goddaughter, a girl estimated to have been as young as 13. The initial charges in February came in the wake of reporting in BuzzFeed and The New Yorker and after damning allegations in a recent Lifetime documentary series.