1. ITV Report

Bail set at $1 million for R Kelly on sexual abuse charges

R Kelly has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse. Credit: Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune via AP

R&B singer R Kelly has appeared in court in Chicago where a judge has set bail at $1 million (£766,000).

The judge at Saturday’s hearing, Cook County Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr, is the same judge who presided over Empire actor Jussie Smollett’s bail hearing earlier this week.

The singer, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was charged on Friday with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving four female victims, including three who were between the ages of 13 and 17 at the time.

R Kelly turned himself in to police. Credit: Chicago Police Dept/AP

Cook County state’s attorney Kim Foxx said the alleged abuse dated back as far as 1998 and spanned more than a decade.

Kelly was tried and acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008 and has consistently denied any sexual misconduct.

The 52-year-old Grammy winner’s lawyer said on Friday that he was confident Kelly would be vindicated.

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Judge Fitzgerald Lyke Jr said during Saturday’s hearing that the bail amount equalled $250,000 (£191,500) for each of the four people he is charged with sexually abusing.

He called the allegations against Kelly “disturbing” during the hearing.

The singer stared at the floor while the judge was speaking and looked dejected.

Kelly had spent the night in jail before being taken to the court.

He stood with his hands behind his back and said to the judge: “How are you?”

Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, said his client was not a flight risk and told the judge: “Contrary to the song, Mr Kelly doesn’t like to fly.”

The bail requires Kelly to post $100,000 (£76,000) to be released.

A prosecutor told the judge that Kelly met one of the four accusers at his 2008 trial on child pornography charges.

The two met when he gave her an autograph, and the alleged abuse occurred between 2009 and 2010.

The accuser gave law enforcement a shirt that had Kelly’s DNA on it, the prosecutor said.

Kelly has been dogged for decades by allegations that he violated underage girls and women and held some as virtual slaves.

After the hearing, Greenberg told reporters that he thought all four of the accusers were lying.

“He did not force anyone to have sex. He’s a rock star. He doesn’t have to have non-consensual sex,” Greenberg said.