Watch CBS News

R. Kelly Pleads Not Guilty In NYC Court To Sex Abuse Charges


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Singer R. Kelly remains in custody Friday night after a Brooklyn judge denied him bail

There were back-to-back hearing for Kelly today.

The 52-year-old was arraigned in a Brooklyn courtroom on federal sex abuse charges.

Kelly sate handcuffed in between his lawyers as one of them entered a not guilty plea on his behalf to a five count indictment of racketeering and sex trafficking.

His two girlfriends, sister, brother and supporters were also in the courtroom, CBS2's Alice Gainer reported.

The singer was already in custody after his arrest in Chicago last month on child pornography charges.

Here in New York, he's charged with exploiting five victims identified as Jane Does. The charges include accusations that the singer paid for underage girls to meet him in different cities for the sole purpose of engaging in illegal sexual activity. According to court documents, he met one at a concert, another at a radio station where she was an intern.

Court documents detail one alleged incident on Long Island in 2017 when Kelly engaged in sexual activity without telling the alleged victim that he had an STD.

His defense team called the alleged victims "disgruntled groupies," sought out Kelly, and have "groupie remorse."

"I'd say irritated might be a way to describe it, but he's not a happy person. But he understands the system. He's been through this before and was acquitted. That seems to be lost in the shuffle," said attorney Douglas Anton.

Gloria Allred represents some of the Jane Does.

"They are not groupies. They are instead brave victims who are seeking justice. Some are victims of child sexual abuse by Mr. Kelly," Allred said.

Calling Kelly a risk, bail was denied. which his attorneys are trying to fight. They say they need more time with him to go over material.

"We're dealing with someone who can't read. So much of their case is based on documents he can't read, so it's going to be a mess," said attorney Steve Greenberg.

They say in some states, despite some of the girls being teenagers, they were still of the legal age to give consent.

They also questioned the credibility of at least one of Kelly's accusers.

A small group of local Kelly supporters gathered outside of the federal courthouse on Friday, reports CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas.

They wore t-shirts and even crowns saying "Free and unmute R. Kelly" to make their message clear.

When asked about the accusations and claims against the R&B singer, the fans remained steadfast.

"They were rehearsed," said one fan. "They're all fake. I don't believe it."

Kelly's two girlfriends, Jocelyn Savage and Azriel Clary, who stood by his side, wouldn't talk.

Kelly's next court date in New York is scheduled for Oct. 2.

He was extradited to New York to face illegal sexual activity charges in the Brooklyn courtroom.

Federal prosecutors say for two decades, with help from his team, Kelly preyed in young girls and teenagers whose dreams of meeting the superstar turned into a "nightmare of rape, child pornography and forced labor."

According to the indictment, the women and girls were forced to follow strict rules including calling Kelly "daddy."

They allegedly were required to ask for permission to use the bathroom, keep their head down and wear baggy clothes when not with the singer.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.