R Kelly pleads not guilty of child pornography charges

US singer R Kelly has pleaded not guilty of child pornography charges at a U.S. District Court in Chicago on Tuesday.

The indictment includes seven charges related to child pornography, five counts of enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, Rolling Stone reports.

R Kelly pleads not guilty of child pornography charges

The singer appeared before Judge Harry D. Leinenweber in an orange jumpsuit at Dirksen U.S. courthouse in Chicago. Kelly had been held in Metropolitan Correction Center in Chicago since his arrest on Thursday.

The judge also denied R. Kelly’s petition for bond and has remanded the singer back to custody.

“He is an extreme danger to the community, especially to minor girls,” prosecutors told Leinenweber, according to local reports. They called videos of alleged sexual encounters with underage girls “sadomasochistic abuse” and argued against granting bail to the singer, claiming that he is a flight risk.

“The defendant can entice girls to his own doorstep,” prosecutors added in their argument against electronic monitoring.

“He doesn’t have to leave his home to do that.” Kelly faces 195 years in prison if convicted on the charges.

Musician R. Kelly departs at the Leighton Criminal Court building after pleading not guilty on 11 new sex-related felonies Thursday, June 6, 2019, in Chicago. Thursday’s hearing comes a week after prosecutors announced the new counts, including four of aggravated criminal sexual assault. (AP Photo/Amr Alfiky)

Arguing for limited bail, his attorney Steve Greenberg told U.S. District Court Judge Harry Leinenweber his client has no reason to flee jurisdiction and no money to pay off any possible bail after declaring bankruptcy years ago and losing the rights to his music.

Greenberg dismissed several of Kelly’s opportunists as adults looking to make a buck off a celebrity.

“There’s no evidence he’s a risk to minors at all at this point,” he said.

He also argued that many of the government’s claims date back decades, to which Assistant U.S. Attorney Angel Krull replied:

“So what? There is no statute of limitations of producing child porn and enticing a minor into performing sexual activity,” Krull said, adding that the “vast majority” of the 12 victims in these cases were minors at the time of the alleged offenses. “Being attracted to young girls is not something you can turn on and turn off like a lightswitch.”

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