R. Kelly pleads not guilty to updated federal sex abuse charges

R. Kelly pleaded not guilty in Chicago federal court Thursday to a 13-count indictment that was updated to include sexual abuse allegations from a new accuser who was not part of the original charges against the singer, according to multiple news reports.

The new charges against Kelly come after investigators carried out a recent search warrant and confiscated more than 100 electronic devices, including cellphones and hard drives, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Prosecutors said during Thursday's arraignment that Kelly would likely face another superseding indictment in the coming weeks, but did not provide further details.

At the same hearing, U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber also moved the former R&B star’s trial date from April 27 to Oct. 13, according to WGN9 Chicago.

The reworked federal indictment in Chicago, which was unsealed last month, refers to Kelly’s new accuser as a minor. The Sun-Times reported the person met Kelly in 1997 or 1998 at the age of 14 or 15.

The indictment says Kelly “engaged in sexual contact and sexual acts” with that person and four others when they were under the age of 18, the Sun-Times reported.

The 53-year-old singer, who’s real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has been locked up without bond since July 11, 2019.

In this June 6, 2019, file photo, singer R. Kelly pleaded not guilty to 11 additional sex-related felonies during a court hearing before Judge Lawrence Flood at Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago.

Credit: E. Jason Wambsgans

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Credit: E. Jason Wambsgans

As many as 18 state and federal charges altogether have been brought against the singer in Illinois, Minnesota and New York. The charges include child sexual exploitation, child pornography production, kidnapping, forced labor, racketeering and obstruction of justice.

Kelly has denied any wrongdoing.

Aside from multiple federal charges, he also faces  a count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Illinois and a cosoliciting a minor in Minnesota.

Federal prosecutors in New York charged Kelly in December with bribery related to the 1994 purchase of a fake ID for the late singer Aaliyah in order to obtain a marriage license.

In Chicago, federal prosecutors accuse Kelly of filming himself having sex with underage girls and then conspiring with two former employees to rig his 2008 child pornography trial by paying off witnesses and victims to change their stories. He was later found not guilty.

On Thursday, Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg entered the plea on the singer’s behalf.

The Associated Press reported that Kelly stood quietly next to Greenberg in orange jail scrubs with his hands behind his back.

His New York trial date is set for May 18 in a federal court in Brooklyn, and there’s no word on whether that trial would also be delayed.

Kelly was first indicted on Feb.22, 2019, on multiple charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Since then, he’s been charged separately in three other jurisdictions.

His arrest came a month after the explosive three-part documentary “Surviving R Kelly,” which aired in January 2019 and exposed Kelly's allged secret life of sexual misconduct against women and underaged girls.

Kelly broke his silence in an emotional interview with CBS News co-host Gayle King in a March 2019 interview. In the segment, Kelly proclaimed his innocence and said his accusers were lying for their own personal gain.

Earlier this year, "Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning" aired on Lifetime and featured even more shocking revelations about the singer’s private life. The sequel prompted a 40% increase in calls to the national sexual assault hotline, according to a report from the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.