R. Kelly expected to plead not guilty to 11 new counts of sexual abuse

R. Kelly will be back in court Thursday in Cook County and is expected to plead not guilty to the 11 new counts of sexual abuse that he was charged with last week.

The Cook County State’s Attorney Office brought forward the new charges last week, bringing the total number of charges against him in Illinois to 21, including four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault. Each one carries a maximum prison term of 30 years. 

The judge could potentially revoke Kelly’s bond and order him jailed pending trial, though legal experts say that’s highly unlikely.

Kelly pleaded not guilty in February to 10 related counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving three girls and one woman over roughly 10 years starting in the late 1990s.

Attorney Michael Avenatti told the Associated Press last week that the new charges pertain to a woman who was one of the three minors in the group of four women alleging abuse in February. Her initials are listed as J.P. 

Kelly’s lawyer, Chicago-based criminal defense attorney Steve Greenberg, told USA TODAY last week the case in question was not new. Later, he expanded on his point, issuing a statement from an unverified Twitter account: “#RKelly was NOT charged with a new case. He was recharged in an existing case, same alleged victim and time (a decade ago) It changes nothing.”

FILE – This March 13, 2019 file photo shows R. Kelly and his publicist Darryll Johnson, right, leaving The Daley Center after an appearance in court for Kelly's child support case in Chicago. Prosecutors in Chicago have charged Kelly with 11 new sex assault charges, some that are more serious than those first filed against him in February. The Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday, May 30, on its website that the charges include counts that carry a potential sentence of up to 30 years in prison. The charges say the alleged offenses happened in 2010. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP, File) ORG XMIT: ILCHS306 (Photo: Ashlee Rezin, AP)

According to The Chicago Sun-Times, which published the new court documents last week, the counts are as follows: 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 criminal sexual abuse against a victim who was between the ages of 13 and 17 at the time of her assault. Three of the four women from the original indictment were minors at the time.

Timeline:R. Kelly’s history of sex-abuse arrests, indictments and lawsuits 

For about two decades, Robert Sylvester Kelly, 52, has faced multiple allegations of sexual abuse of women and girls, including sex with underage girls and accusations that he trapped female fans in a “sex cult” that cut them off from their families and subjected them to degrading abuse. 

He has been charged with a sex crime only once, in Chicago, and was acquitted in 2008. Then, in January, a six-part film began airing on Lifetime, “Surviving R. Kelly,” in which women came forward on camera to accuse Kelly of shocking abuse.

Saying she was “sickened” by the allegations, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx called a press conference in January to solicit accusers and witnesses to come forward. In February, she announced the state indictments of Kelly.

Soon after, suggestions emerged that Kelly also was under parallel investigations by federal authorities in Illinois and in New York.

Contributing: Hannah Yasharoff, The Associated Press

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