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R. Kelly can't afford to post bail after judge sets $1M bond; remains in Chicago jail

Judge sets bond for R. Kelly

Editor's Note: This story contains graphic allegations.

R. Kelly's attorney says the singer doesn't have the $100,000 bail he needs to post, CBS Chicago reports, so Kelly will spend a second night in jail where he's been moved into a private cell. R. Kelly's bond was set at $1 million Saturday by Judge John F. Lyke Jr.

Kelly, 52, was of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against four women, including three minors.

Steve Greenberg, Kelly's attorney, issued a statement late Sunday night.

"R. Kelly's spirits are good. Kelly is expected to bond out tomorrow (Monday)," Greenberg said. "Right now he's being held in the hospital area of the jail for security reasons, he's not sick or suicidal. It's easier for the sheriff and more secure that he's not in general population. Kelly will be in court around 10 a.m. ET and should be released shortly afterwards."

Lyke set the bond at a hearing Saturday afternoon at Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago. After the hearing, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx said prosecutors have DNA evidence in two of the cases.

Lyke set the bond at $250,000 for each of the four victims in the case. He was told to have no contact with anyone 18 years old or younger. He also was forced to surrender his passport. Kelly's next court date is Monday. Lyke called the case against Kelly disturbing.

"We are very happy with the bond that was set," Greenberg said at the time. "Right now he is presumed innocent."

The charges date back as far as 1998.

Illinois has no statute of limitations on child sex abuse charges.

R. Kelly chicago police
R. Kelly turns himself in at Chicago police headquarters on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019.  Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty

Nine of the counts against Kelly specify the victim was between 13 and 16. One count did not specify any ages. The charges are Class 2 felonies.

The charges identify the victims only by initials, and the dates of the alleged abuse: 

  • H.W. (13-16 years of age), victim of four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse between May 26, 1998, and May 25, 1999; 
  • J.P. (13-16 years of age), victim of three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse between May 1, 2009, and Jan. 31, 2010; 
  • R.L. (13-16 years of age), victim of two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse between Sept. 26, 1998, and Sept. 25, 2001; 
  • L.C. (no age given), victim of one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse on Feb. 18, 2003. 

Foxx detailed the allegations after the bond hearing:

The first victim, HW, was celebrating her 16th birthday when she met Kelly, who told his manager to give HW a business card. HW's mother saw the encounter, and told Kelly's manager her daughter was 16 years old.

HW later took the business card from her mom's purse. She called Kelly, who told her to take a cab to his Chicago studio. During that first sexual encounter on May 26, 1998, Kelly had difficulty maintaining an erection and penetrated the victim orally and vaginally. HW was then given a large sum of money, much more than the cost of the cab fare. 

Foxx said the encounters continued until May, 1999.

The second victim, JP, met Kelly after a court hearing for Kelly's 2008 child pornography trial and asked for his autograph. She was later invited to his house in Olympia Fields and Kelly had sex with the victim from May 2009 through Jan. 31, 2010. During those encounters, Kelly would spit, slap and choke her. She was also under the age of 16.

The victim provided a shirt with semen to police, and a test found the DNA was a match for Kelly.

A third victim, RL, had sex when she was 14 at Kelly's house in Olympia Fields. A witness was asked to take sex tapes of the victim and Kelly. The witness watched the tapes and turned them over to the state's attorney's office. Foxx did not say when that happened. Kelly and the victim had sexual encounters between Sept. 26, 1998 and Sept. 25, 2001. The video was not the same as the one at the center of Kelly's 2008 child pornography trial, Foxx said.

The fourth victim, LC, was an adult who worked for Kelly as a hair dresser. On Feb. 18, 2008, Kelly walked into a room in his Chicago studio and said he "wanted his head massaged." His pants were down and he pointed to his penis. When the woman resisted, Kelly masturbated, ejaculated and spit on her. A semen sample tested was a DNA match to Kelly, Foxx said.

Following the arrest, Kelly's attorney Steve Greenberg spoke to the media Friday night, slamming the charges. 

"I think all the women are lying," he said. "Unfortunately the State's Attorney has now succumbed to public pressure, to pressure from grand-standers like Michael Avenatti and Gloria Allred, and brought these charges. Mr. Kelly is strong. He's got a lot of support, and he's going to be vindicated on all these charges, one by one if it has to be."

Avenatti, who is representing one of Kelly's victims in this case, lashed out a Greenberg on Saturday. 

"Mr Greenberg's client is in his fight for his life." said Avenatti. "He needs to get his head out of his ass. He is already in an insurmountable amount of trouble."

In 2008, Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges connected to a videotape of him allegedly having sex with an underage girl. It took six years from the time Kelly was charged with the offense to the end of the trial. It took the jury less than a day to deliberate. 

Allegations of Kelly's sexual abuse go back decades and have prompted a recent nationwide protest called #MuteRKelly to boycott his music, in the wake of a Lifetime documentary, "Surviving R. Kelly," featuring interviews with the music artist's alleged accusers.

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