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R&B singer R. Kelly pleaded not guilty in Brooklyn to criminal charges brought against him by the Eastern District of New York. At today's arraignment, the judge denied Kelly's request for bail. NPR's Anastasia Tsioulcas was there and has this report.
ANASTASIA TSIOULCAS, BYLINE: R. Kelly appeared in court wearing dark-blue prison scrubs and an orange T-shirt. As one of his attorneys addressed Judge Steven L. Tiscione, the singer turned and offered nods and tight smiles to his two girlfriends, Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage, who had been living with the singer at his home at the Trump Tower in Chicago until he was arrested on July 11. Also in attendance were at least a dozen other supporters, many wearing T-shirts saying things like Unmute R. Kelly. Federal prosecutors in Chicago and New York have brought a total of 18 criminal counts against Kelly. They say that he has abused women and girls for two decades.
The New York charges include one count of racketeering and four counts of sex trafficking. The alleged victims include two women and three girls. New York prosecutors also say that a number of Kelly's associates, including managers, bodyguards, drivers and personal assistants, were involved. In court, in media appearances and even in song, Kelly has said he's innocent of all accusations of sexual misconduct. The cases against him now encompass federal indictments, local charges and civil suits - allegations that stretch back a quarter century. Last month, he pleaded not guilty to the federal charges brought in Illinois, and he faces 10 charges of aggravated sexual abuse locally in Cook County, Illinois.
If convicted of just the New York charges, Kelly faces up to 80 years in prison. Kelly has remained in custody in Chicago. And today in New York, the judge also denied bail. The judge called the charges, quote, "incredibly serious."
Anastasia Tsioulcas, NPR News, New York.
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