R Kelly has plead not guilty to a series of sex-trafficking charges in New York, including the accusation that he knowingly spread herpes to two people.
The singer, who is currently behind bars in Chicago, entered his plea yesterday via teleconference from a federal jail.
The new indictment adds several allegations of abuse from a victim referred to only as Jane Doe 5. If convicted, two of the new counts carry minimum sentences of 10 years, prosecutors have said.
Kelly, who has been held in Chicago on federal charges last year, has also been charged with racketeering conspiracy in the U.S. District Court in New York. He is accused of identifying underage girls attending his concerts and grooming them for sexual abuse.
In Chicago, A federal indictment in Chicago has seen Kelly charged with conspiring with his longtime manager Derrell McDavid and a former employee to rig his 2008 child pornography trial. McDavid has denied the charge.
He also faces additional charges in Minnesota, which claim he solicited a teenager who asked for his autograph in 2001.
Last month, Kelly’s second appeal plea for release for jail was been turned down, after an initial request for bail was also denied.
His lawyers had filed a motion requesting that the singer was bailed due to concerns that he would contract coronavirus.
This was rejected by U.S. District Judge Anne Donnelly, who pointed out that there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Centre, where he’s held.
“While I am sympathetic to the defendant’s understandable anxiety about COVID-19, he has not established compelling reasons warranting his release,” Judge Donnelly wrote.
Turning down his request for a second time, Donnelly ruled that the singer remains a flight risk and could possibly “intimidate prospective witnesses” if he’s released.