R. Kelly bail set at $1 million during jam-packed bond hearing attended by family members of the victims

R. Kelly thegrio.com
R. Kelly turns himself in at 1st District police headquarters in Chicago on Friday night, Feb. 22, 2019. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune)

Bail for R. Kelly was set at $1 million on Saturday during a bond hearing on charges of alleged aggravated criminal sexual abuse of four young women, three of whom were underage. He was also made to surrender his passport and told not to have contact with any of his victims or anyone under the age of 18.

During the packed hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, Judge John Lyke Jr. set the bail amount, which allows Kelly to pay only $100,000 in order to be released from the Cook County Jail before his trial. The judge also set Feb. 25 as his next court date.

Before bail was set, R. Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, argued that the singer was having money problems because he had been recently dropped from his label and called the victims in the case “liars.”

New details were released by Prosecutor Kim Foxx regarding the nature of the offenses against the young women – three of whom R. Kelly sexually abused and ranged in age from 14 to 16. The fourth victim was 24 at the time of her alleged incident.

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One of the girls is said to have met Kelly at a restaurant while celebrating her 16th birthday. One of the members of his entourage slipped her Kelly’s business card with his cell phone on it. Her mother intercepted and told Kelly’s manager that her daughter was just 16. The daughter reportedly later retrieved the card from her mother’s purse and called R. Kelly and he gave her the address to his studio and instructed her to take a cab there after her father dropped her off at school the next day. After their first alleged sexual encounter, the girl was given an envelope which contained a large sum of money. This began an alleged monthly arrangement where Kelly would engage in sexual activities with her from 1998 until 1999.

Another victim he allegedly had vaginal and oral sex with was a then 14-year-old girl, whom Kelly captured on video. In the video, the victim repeatedly makes references to the fact that she was 14 years old, according to Foxx, who is in possession of the video.

Another of the underage victim’s met Kelly at his 2008 trial. She at the time believed that he was innocent. He gave her his number and later had sex with her.

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The fourth victim was a then 24-year-old hairdresser that Kelly was supposed to have braid his hair. When Kelly entered the room he reportedly told her he didn’t want his hair braided but needed her to massage his head while taking off his pants and motioning to his penis. He allegedly tried to physically force her to perform oral sex on him and then he spit in her face when she resisted. Kelly allegedly masturbated and ejaculated onto the victim’s shirt and that shirt will be presented as evidence during the upcoming trial.

“The audacity. He thought he was untouchable,” commented attorney, Caroline Polisi, in a CNN interview in which she said she was “disgusted” to hear the details of each case. Polisi is representing George Papadopoulos in a DNC lawsuit.

Inside the packed courtroom were family members of the victims and people who came out in support of the singer. The judge warned everyone that if anyone yelled out anything, he or she would be remanded into custody themselves “because he could feel the emotion in that room,” CNN said.