R. Kelly walked out of a Chicago jail Monday after posting $100,000 bail that allows him to go free while awaiting trial on charges that he sexually abused four people dating back to 1998, including three underage girls.
Hours earlier, the R&B star pleaded not guilty to the allegations after spending the weekend behind bars. He said little during the brief arraignment, telling the judge only his name. His lawyers spoke on his behalf.
The singer-songwriter was arrested Friday on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse. A judge set bond at $1 million, meaning Kelly had to post 10 percent of that amount to be released. Court records show a 47-year-old woman from the Chicago suburb of Romeoville, Illinois, posted the $100,000 bail and identified herself on the bond slip as “a friend” of Kelly, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Kelly will be forbidden from having any contact with females younger than 18.
The black van that took the entertainer away from the jail stopped in the parking lot of a large downtown McDonald’s. He did not immediately emerge, but some members of his entourage stood outside the vehicle and a dark-colored Mercedes-Benz parked next to it.
The McDonald’s, a popular tourist attraction, was known as Chicago’s Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s before being remodeled and losing its music theme.
The recording artist has been trailed for decades by allegations that he violated underage girls and women and held some as virtual slaves. Kelly has consistently denied any sexual misconduct, and he was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008.
Attorney Michael Avenatti, who said he represents two Kelly accusers, said his legal team gave prosecutors a second video Monday that shows Kelly sexually abusing a minor. Avenatti previously gave prosecutors video evidence that he said showed Kelly having sex with an underage girl.
Avenatti said the second video involves a 14-year-old girl. He said the footage from 1999 or 2000 is about 55 minutes long, but he did not say if it was the same 14-year-old girl seen in the first video he turned over to the authorities.
“The conduct in the tape can be described as nothing short of outrageous, illegal. It leaves no question as to Mr. Kelly’s guilt,” Avenatti said.
Avenatti said he is aware of a third tape, but he did not provide details.
Defense attorney Steve Greenberg reiterated at a news conference that Kelly has done nothing wrong and said no one has shown him any evidence to the contrary.
“Everybody is entitled to a defense. Everybody is entitled to the presumption of innocence. We should all be taking a step back. Let’s see what happens, what the evidence is and how this plays out,” Greenberg said.
Details of the allegations against Kelly emerged Saturday when the prosecution released four detailed documents - one for each accuser - outlining the basis for the charges. The allegations date back as far as 1998 and span more than a decade.