R. Kelly Pleads Not Guilty to 11 New Sexual Assault and Abuse Charges in Chicago Court
The charges include five counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, and stem from one accuser who claims Kelly, 52, abused her in 2009 and 2010, while she was underage, according to the Associated Press.
Each of the charges carries a maximum prison term of 30 years, according to CBS News.
Though the victim was identified only as “J.P.,” she publicly identified herself as Jerhonda Pace in a Facebook post after the charges were announced.
“Yes, I am aware of the 11 new counts against R. Kelly. Yes, all new counts are related to my case. Yes, I know his fans are mad about it,” she wrote. “Please, DO NOT contact me telling me how I’m wrong for pursuing criminal charges all of these years later. Blah! No matter how ‘wrong’ you think I am, the law is on my side, a MINOR at the time. Carry on.”
Kelly – who is currently ensnared in four different cases – has a composite bond of $1 million, the judge said Thursday.
The “I Believe I Can Fly” singer appeared stoic in court, nodding to the judge at times and responding “Yes sir” when spoken to. He is scheduled to appear in court for a status hearing June 26.
Kelly’s lawyer Steve Greenberg explained his not guilty plea in a press conference after the hearing, and said his client is feeling “positive.”
“If you didn’t do it, then you didn’t do it,” he said, according to CBS News. “I think he’s feeling positive. It’s tough. Everything is against him.”
The new charges against Kelly come after he was hit with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against four alleged victims, three of which were specially referred to as under the age of 17. He pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.
Pace was one of the four alleged victims in the first wave of charges.
“It’s the same case. It’s just that they’ve just changed what they’ve charged him with,” Greenberg said Thursday, according to the AP. “It’s the same facts … the same bond, the same evidence. We expect the same result.”
An arrest warrant was issued for Kelly in February after the first charges were announced, and he surrendered to Chicago police hours later.
He was released from jail three days later after paying 10 percent of his $1 million bail amount, the Cook County Sheriff confirmed to PEOPLE.
Kelly found himself behind bars once again in March following a child support hearing in Chicago.
The singer made headlines amid his legal trouble with an emotionally charged interview with Gayle King in early March in which he broke down in tears as he denied the allegations facing him.
“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?’”
Pace weighed in on the heated interview shortly after it aired, writing that Kelly was in need of a “mandatory” psych evaluation.
“I don’t believe that prison will help or ‘fix’ Robert’s actual problems. Truth is he’s fighting for his beliefs. In his heart, mind, body, and soul he believes he’s done no wrong,” she wrote on Facebook. “I think asylum is what he needs: 24/7 care and attention. A psych evaluation is mandatory. Mental health is important.”