R. Kelly was indicted by a grand jury on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against four alleged victims

By Maria Pasquini
February 23, 2019 04:28 PM
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R. Kelly’s bond has been set at $1 million.

One day after being indicted by a grand jury on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against four alleged victims, the R&B singer appeared in court on Saturday.

During the bond hearing, Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. ordered that Kelly — who surrendered to police on Friday night — be held on a $1 million bond, according to The Chicago Tribune.

The judge — who called the allegations against Kelly “disturbing” — explained the amount, saying the sum represents $250,000 for each of Kelly’s alleged four victims, the Associated Press reported.

CNN reported that Kelly, 52, has to surrender his passport and cannot have any contact with anyone under the age of 18.

While attempting to make a joke about Kelly’s 1996 song “I Believe I Can Fly,” the singer’s attorney Steven Greenberg insisted his client would not try to flee the country. “Contrary to the song, Mr. Kelly doesn’t like to fly,” Greenberg said, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Credit: CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Greenberg continued to deny the allegations made against Kelly, telling reporters, “He is a rock star. He doesn’t have to have nonconsensual sex,” according to the AP. He reportedly went on to say he hopes Kelly will be out of jail later on Saturday.

In order to make bail, the singer will have to pay $100,000, according to CNN.

Kelly is next scheduled to appear in court on Monday, Feb. 25, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office confirms to PEOPLE.

R. Kelly
| Credit: Scott Olson/Getty

During the hearing, a prosecutor told the judge that the singer met one of his alleged victims during his 2008 child pornography trial, during which a Cook County jury found Kelly not guilty on all counts, according to the Associated Press.

At the time, the alleged victim was underage and met the singer while requesting an autograph, the prosecutor reportedly said.

On Friday, Kelly was seen walking into the police precinct surrounded by bodyguards with a somber look on his face.

Chicago police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi confirmed the news on Twitter, writing, “Singer/songwriter Robert Kelly (R. Kelly) is under arrest and in #ChicagoPolice custody in reference to the indictment announced by Cook County state’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx.”

In defense of his client, Kelly’s attorney said on Friday, “I think all the women are lying,” according to CNN.

“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,” he added.

At a press conference in Chicago on Friday, the Cook County State’s Attorney revealed the charges against Kelly. All of his alleged victims 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 3-7 years per change, and is probationable.

Both Kelly’s attorney Greenberg and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office did not immediately reply to PEOPLE’s requests for comment. Kelly, however, has repeatedly denied all accusations of sexual abuse or misconduct made against him.

R. Kelly
| Credit: Earl Gibson III/Getty

Following the news, lawyer Michael Avenatti, who previously claimed earlier this month to have turned over a tape allegedly showing Kelly having sex with an underage girl, tweeted, “It’s over.”

“After 25 years of serial sexual abuse and assault of underage girls, the day of reckoning for R Kelly has arrived,” he added.

Avenatti, 48, who is currently representing six clients — two alleged victims, two parents and two “whistleblowers” — in the investigation against Kelly shared screenshots from the alleged sex tape on his Twitter account and addressed them further during a press conference held later on Friday.

In the new tape that Avenatti recently brought to prosecutors, Avenatti has claimed that both the victim and Kelly repeatedly “refer to the victim’s age as 14” in excess of 10 separate times.

“Repeatedly on the video, the young lady refers to Mr. Kelly as ‘daddy,’” he continued during the press conference. “The video depicts Mr. Kelly engaged in oral sex with the young victim, both receiving as well as giving, as well as vaginal intercourse and anal penetration. There are also instances of Mr. Kelly urinating on the young girl on the videotape.”

The actions reportedly featured in the tape echo that of a similar act featured in a sex tape allegedly showing Kelly and another underage girl that led to his 2002 arrest on child pornography charges. Six years later, a Cook County jury found Kelly not guilty on all 14 counts.

RELATED VIDEO:New Accuser Alleges R. Kelly Kissed Her as a Teen as Former Manager Surrenders to Threats Warrant

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.

The star was reported to have seduced a slew 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.

Kelly has repeatedly denied all claims against him, though a renewed interest in the allegations emerged earlier this year with the release of the Lifetime documentary series Surviving R. Kelly.

“We are proud that Lifetime was able to provide a platform for survivors to be heard,” producers of the documentary told PEOPLE Friday in a statement.

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.