R Kelly misses Chicago court hearing regarding sexual abuse case, prosecutors claim R&B singer 'refused transport'
Singer R Kelly, who was due at a pre-trial hearing in Chicago for his sexual abuse case on 15 August, has missed his court hearing. However, the hearing continued without the R&B singer's attendance. The prosecutors have claimed that he "refused transport" from jail, according to a BBC report.
Cook County Judge Lawrence Flood demanded to know why the US Marshals Service failed to transport Kelly. Kelly's lawyer, Steve Greenberg, argued that the prosecutor's statements are not "100 percent true", adding that "moving Mr Kelly is a large undertaking". Greenberg refused to offer further explanations regarding Kelly's absence.
The singer's next court hearing in Chicago is on 17 September.
Kelly was arrested in Chicago on 11 July after he was indicted on 13 federal counts, including sex crimes. “The counts include child porn, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice,” Joseph Fitzpatrick, the US Attorney’s office spokesman said.
The new charges add to a mountain of legal woes for Kelly, who was acquitted a decade ago in 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving four women. Among them, three were minors when the alleged abuse occurred.
The accusations pertain to a single victim, identified in the court filing by the initials “JP” Prosecutors did not specify in the filing if she is the same person as one of the original four accusers who was also identified as “JP”.
Greenberg told The Associated Press the 11 sex-related counts “are not really new.” “They are the same conduct, just charged differently,” Greenberg said. “Same alleged victim, same time frame, same facts." He pleaded not guilty to those charges and was released on bail.
The charges were brought after seven women, including his ex-wife, appeared on a Lifetime television documentary, Surviving R. Kelly, and accused him of emotional and sexual abuse.
The singer, known for hits, such as 'I Believe I Can Fly' and 'Bump N’ Grind', spent a weekend in jail on the sex charges before being released on $100,000 bail on 25 February.
Updated Date: Aug 17, 2019 14:15:23 IST