R. Kelly pleads not guilty to sex trafficking charges in NY

R. Kelly's Lawyer Says the Singer Disappeared After Transportation

"That's what's keeping him through all of this", Kelly's attorney said.

The five-count indictment from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York includes charges of racketeering and violations of the Mann Act, which "prohibits transporting people across state lines for the objective of prostitution", the New York Times previously reported. Three days later, Kelly was released from jail after paying 10 percent of his $1 million bail amount, the Cook County Sheriff confirmed to PEOPLE at the time.

Another federal indictment in the northern district of IL outlines allegations by five additional victims and accuses Kelly of having sex with five minors in the late 1990s and early 2000s, recording some of the abuse on multiple videos.

R. Kelly was transported from Chicago to NY on Thursday for the hearing but his attorney, Douglas Anton, says that since then he has been unable to speak to his client.

Kelly appeared at back-to-back hearings in federal court in Brooklyn Friday morning.

The feds say the objective of the scheme was to "promote R. Kelly's music and the R. Kelly brand and to recruit women and girls to engage in illegal sexual activity with Kelly".

A lawyer for Kelly has said his accusers are "disgruntled groupies".

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Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn say Kelly and his entourage invited women and girls backstage after concerts, kept them from friends and family and made them dependent on him financially.

They also accuse him of conspiracy to obstruct justice by destroying evidence and bribing or threatening witnesses. Kelly flew to New York Thursday for the hearing.

The New York charges include one count of racketeering and four counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits sexual trafficking across state lines.

Tiscione rejected the defense's request for bail, saying that Kelly was facing "incredibly serious charges", with a long history of similar allegations behind him. The charges - a class 2 felony - span from 1998 to 2010. In 2008, he was tried on child pornography charges and found not guilty.

The singer faces a maximum prison sentence of over 200 years, according to Reuters.

The documentary series "Surviving R. Kelly" that aired on Lifetime revived public interest in the case against Kelly.

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