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R. Kelly freed from Chicago jail after posting $100,000 bail

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Within days of being indicted for multiple sexual abuse charges, attorney Michael Avenatti claimed he found a second video of R. Kelly with a 14-year-old girl.
USA TODAY

R. Kelly has been freed from jail in Chicago after posting bail following multiple charges of criminal sexual abuse, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office confirms to USA TODAY.

Earlier Monday, Cook County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Sophia Ansari told USA TODAY that the R&B singer, who spent the weekend in jail, posted $100,000, or 10 percent of the $1 million bond set Saturday.

The terms of Kelly’s release prohibit him from having any contact with females under the age of 18.

Earlier in the day, Kelly pleaded not guilty to 10 felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He appeared in an orange jumpsuit during his arraignment on four separate indictments. 

The indictments describe the case of four women – three of whom were underage at the time of the alleged sexual abuse. Kelly, who was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008, has denied wrongdoing. His defense attorney, Steve Greenberg, says he’s confident the singer will be vindicated.

In addition to entering a plea, Kelly learned who would be handling his trial: Cook County Associate Judge Lawrence Flood.

The singer’s next court date is March 22. 

Greenberg had warned the Associated Press that while the singer could afford to pay bail, he likely wouldn’t be out of jail until after the weekend because of logistical issues exacerbated by the singer’s messy finances.

Greenberg said Monday afternoon that Kelly’s ability to post bail would not be affected by a child support case involving the singer because that case is a civil court matter.

Meanwhile, attorney Michael Avenatti said Monday that his team had turned over a  second sex tape featuring Kelly with a 14-year-old girl. However, he didn’t say whether she is the same girl from the first tape he announced on Feb. 14, which the indictment documents cited as evidence for some of the charges against Kelly.

“This tape was recently uncovered in connection with our ongoing nationwide investigation on behalf of victims,” Avenatti tweeted Monday. “Justice must be done.”

Half-way across the country in Los Angeles, another media-savvy attorney aiming to take down Kelly, Gloria Allred, introduced another of her clients, Lizzette Martinez, 41, who claims she was in an abusive sexual relationship with Kelly from the time she met him in a mall at age 17 in 1995 until four years later.

“The years of him preying on young women have gone on for far too long,” Martinez said at a press conference in Allred’s office. “Robert Sylvester Kelly must be held accountable for the many lives he has ruined.”

Allred, who says she represents multiple accusers of Kelly, six of whom have gone public, took Martinez before media cameras to fire back against Kelly’s lawyer, Greenberg, who has been saying for weeks that Kelly denies all allegations of non-consensual or underage sex, and that all of his accusers are “lying.”

Martinez called Greenberg “irresponsible.”

“The only person lying is your client, which he has done for more than 20 years,” she said. When asked why she is coming forward more than two decades later, she said, “I have a daughter and I felt like I had to be transparent and vocal about what happened to me to save others.” 

Martinez told her story in the film “Surviving R. Kelly,” which aired on Lifetime last month. She is not one of the four accusers named in the Chicago indictment against Kelly.

Allred declined to let her explain why she couldn’t escape Kelly during that period, in what state the alleged abuse took place, whether there is a statute of limitations or even what exactly she expects to happen to Kelly. She said she would be willing to testify against Kelly at a trial if a judge allows testimony of “prior bad acts” witnesses against the singer. 

Allred wouldn’t say whether she has any video evidence of Kelly allegedly abusing any of her clients but if she did, she said pointedly, she wouldn’t share it with the media or with anyone else other than law enforcement. 

After Avenatti announced three weeks ago that he had discovered a video of Kelly allegedly sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl (one of the four accused named in the indictment), the 1999 video was leaked to CNN, which announced that it had viewed the tape and graphically described it.

Avenatti insisted to USA TODAY he did not leak the tape. But ever since then he and Allred, who both represent accusers of Kelly, have been obliquely sniping at each other over protecting accusers from being publicly identified.
 

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Contributing: Associated Press, Cydney Henderson

 

 

 

 

 

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2019/02/25/r-kelly-pleads-not-guilty-criminal-sex-abuse-case/2978510002/




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