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Lawyer enters not guilty plea for R Kelly in sex abuse case

R Kelly's mugshot. Credit: Chicago Police Dept via AP

R Kelly’s lawyer has entered a not guilty plea on behalf of his client as the R&B singer faces multiple charges of sexual abuse in Chicago.

Kelly, one of the best-selling music artists of all time, was arrested on Friday on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving four alleged victims, three of whom were minors.

The singer entered the courtroom wearing an orange jail jumpsuit after spending the weekend in Chicago’s 7,000-inmate jail.

A judge on Saturday set bail at one million dollars (£765,000).

The Grammy Award-winning singer is required to pay 10% of the bail, and his lawyer said Kelly’s confidants are trying to pay 100,000 dollars to get him released as he awaits trial.

Among the conditions of release is that Kelly have no contact with females younger than 18.

Kelly’s case was assigned to Cook County Associate Judge Lawrence Flood, who will preside over the trial.

His next court date is March 22.

Defence lawyer Steve Greenberg has said co-ordination of the bail payment is complicated but he added that Kelly could be released as early as Monday or Tuesday.

“He has to rely on others acting on his behalf,” Mr Greenberg said.

R Kelly’s defence lawyer Steve Greenberg. Credit: Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP

“And it’s just not that easy – because Kelly’s in jail.”

Lawyer Michael Avenatti, who said he represents two alleged victims, said his legal team will give prosecutors a second video that he alleges shows Kelly sexually assaulting a minor.

Mr Avenatti has said he recently gave prosecutors video evidence of the singer allegedly having sex with an underage girl.

In arguing for bail within the singer’s ability to pay, Mr Greenberg told a judge over the weekend that Kelly was not wealthy despite decades of success creating hit songs.

The lawyer blamed mismanagement, bad contracts and other issues for his client’s financial woes.

Details of the allegations against Kelly emerged on Saturday when the prosecution released four detailed documents – one for each accuser – outlining the basis for the charges.

The allegations date back as far as 1998 and span more than a decade.

At the bail hearing, Mr Greenberg said his client is not a flight risk.

He told the judge: “Contrary to the song, Mr Kelly doesn’t like to fly.”

One of Kelly’s best-known hits is I Believe I Can Fly.

After the hearing, Mr Greenberg told reporters that Kelly did not force anyone to have sex.

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

The judge ordered Kelly to surrender his passport, ending his hopes of doing a tour of Europe in April.

Kelly defiantly scheduled concerts in Germany and the Netherlands despite the cloud of legal issues looming over him.

Mr Greenberg denied that any tour was planned.

The recording artist, whose legal name is Robert Kelly, was tried and acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008 and has consistently denied any sexual misconduct.