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R. Kelly Pleads Not Guilty to Latest Sexual Abuse Charges, Denied Bail

By Daniel Goldblatt

R. Kelly was in a New York City court this morning where pleaded not guilty to charges he sexually abused five women.

The singer is facing charges of racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and sexual exploitation of a child.

The judge also denied R. Kelly's request to be released on bail. Attorneys for the prosecution argued that Kelly was a flight risk and a serious danger of obstruction of justice.

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Earlier this week, R. Kelly's attorney filed a letter with the court referring to the singer's alleged victims as "disgruntled groupies." R. Kelly's attorney, Douglas Anton, claims the indictment against Kelly details how "these groupies sought out Robert’s attention, even fought each other for it, voluntarily contacted him, came to his shows, pined to be with him."

He claims that "evidence will show that the Robert Kelly tours and shows would accommodate both male and female fans with access to the singer, picture taking, meet and greets, fan events, backstage passes and the like."

Kelly's attorney even compares his actions to charity work, writing, "The indictment even alleges, just like some of my other touring musician clients do with the Make-A-Wish and other foundations, that staff would pay for travel or accommodations for his fans when they could not themselves afford to attend a performance. This is 'touring' rock and roll, not a criminal enterprise."

Gettyimages | Scott Olson

Kelly's attorney also pointed out that the singer's two live-in girlfriends have remained by his side and are not prisoners, as has been alleged.

"As for the allegation that Robert ever sought to keep anyone locked away and/or away from their family," Kelly's attorney writes, "that repeated mantra has been beat to death as it relates to his two live-in girlfriends, who, after his recent incarceration, where, if captive, now free to run, but are instead found on line, and in person, supporting Robert. In fact, they are appearing in NY, of their own accord, on their own dime, to support the man they have loved for so many years. It’s time for the rumors to stop making their way into the hollowed halls of the Federal Courts."

As we reported, officials had been investigating how Kelly and his associates allegedly bought plane tickets for underage girls and moved them around the country while he was performing.

The investigation had been led by officials with ICE Homeland Security Investigations, which is responsible for investigating crimes of human trafficking, sex trafficking and child exploitation. HSI is the investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

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