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R Kelly pleads not guilty to ‘sexual exploitation’ charges

The singer has been denied bail as his lawyers dismissed the claims as ‘groupie remorse’.

R Kelly leaves a previous hearing (Amr Alfiky/AP)
R Kelly leaves a previous hearing (Amr Alfiky/AP)

R Kelly has pleaded not guilty to charges he sexually exploited young women and girls who attended his concerts.

The R&B singer was denied bail Friday in a Brooklyn US federal courtroom packed with his supporters.

Prosecutors argued that Kelly poses a flight risk and a danger to the community.

His defence lawyers sought his release so that he could better fight charges they have dismissed as “groupie remorse”.

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Supporters of RandB performer R. Kelly pose for a selfie (Mark Lennihan/AP)

Kelly is accused of using his fame to recruit young women and girls into having illegal sexual activity.

Prosecutors say he isolated them from friends and family and demanded they call him “daddy”.

Defence lawyers say the alleged victims sought out Kelly’s attention and “pined to be with him”.

Kelly also faces child pornography charges in Chicago.

Kelly is charged in New York with exploiting five victims, identified only as “Jane Does”.

According to court papers, they include one he met at one of his concerts and another at a radio station where she was an intern.

Prosecutors allege Kelly arranged for some victims to meet him on the road for illegal sex.

He had one victim travel in 2017 to a show on Long Island, New York, where he had unprotected sex with her without telling her “he had contracted an infectious venereal disease” in violation of New York law, they say.

Kelly’s lawyers said in court filings the alleged victims sought out Kelly’s attention, came to his shows and “pined to be with him”.

Kelly “would spend his time and even become friends with and care about these groupies and fans who were dying to be with him”, they added.

PA

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