R. Kelly Asks Judge in Sex Abuse Case If He Can Travel for Concerts
R. Kelly was charged in February with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against four alleged victims
R. Kelly appeared in Chicago court on Friday after having previously been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
According to CNN, Kelly’s legal team filed a motion on Wednesday requesting that the singer’s passport — which he surrendered as a condition of his $1 million bail bond in February — be returned so that he could perform concerts in Dubai next month.
The matter was not discussed at Friday’s hearing, but the judge agreed on a motion to continue. He is due back in court on May 7 at 9:45 a.m. local time.
During the brief hearing, Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, formally asked for copies of tapes lawyer Michael Avenatti claims to have that allegedly show Kelly engaging in acts of sexual abuse with his clients. The judge did not yet rule on whether Kelly’s team will get copies.
Greenberg previously pleaded not guilty on Kelly’s behalf to all charges, according to the Associated Press.
A judge ruled last week that cameras would be allowed in the courtroom during Kelly’s trial and pretrial hearings.
“Mr. Kelly wants this to be an open and transparent process,” Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg told the Associated Press. “So far there have been rumors, there have been allegations … but with cameras in the courtroom, everyone will see what really happens.”
Although cameras will be allowed in the courtroom, the judge also ruled that Kelly’s accusers will need to give their consent before being photographed or filmed.
Kelly was most recently jailed following a child support hearing in Chicago. Days after his arrest, the singer was released on March 9 after a payment for the $161,000 in back child support he owed ex-wife Andrea Kelly was made anonymously on his behalf.
The singer was first released from jail on Feb. 25, after paying 10 percent of his $1 million bail.
“Forget how you feel about me! Hate me if you want to, love me if you want, but use your common sense!” he told King during the CBS This Morning interview. “How stupid would it be for me with my crazy past and what I’ve been through to be like, ‘Oh right now, I think I need to be a monster and hold girls against their will, chain ’em up in my basement and don’t let ’em eat and don’t let ’em out?’”
“Stop it. Y’all, quit playing! I didn’t do this stuff,” he added while getting choked up. “This is not me! I’m fighting for my f—ing life!”
King also spoke with Kelly’s two live-in girlfriends, Joycelyn Savage, 23, and Azriel Clary, 21. Savage’s parents have accused R. Kelly of kidnapping their daughter, though she says she’s living with the singer of her own free will.
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In February, Cook County District Attorney Kim Foxx revealed that the R&B star had been indicted by a grand jury on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against four alleged victims. All were referred to only by their initials, and three were specifically referred to as under the age of 17.
For the fourth alleged victim, whose age was not specified, the grand jury found one count of aggravated sexual abuse “based on the transmission of semen by Robert Kelly upon any part of the body of the [alleged] victim for the purpose of sexual gratification.”
The alleged incidents all occurred between May 1998 and January 2010.
Aggravated criminal sexual abuse is a Class 2 felony with a sentencing range of three to seven years per change, and is probationable.
Kelly, who has repeatedly denied all claims against him, was previously arrested in 2002 on child pornography charges. Six years later, a Cook County jury found Kelly not guilty on all 14 counts.
Kelly’s alleged behavior came to the media forefront again in July 2017, when BuzzFeed published a bombshell report accusing the star of running a “sex cult” out of his Chicago and Atlanta-area homes, and after the release of Surviving R. Kelly in January.
According to those reports, the star allegedly seduced a number of young women with the promise of helping them kickstart a music career, only to “groom” them into being his personal sex objects for whom he allegedly controlled every aspect of their lives.
If you suspect domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.