Controversial artist R. Kelly pleaded not guilty in Brooklyn, New York on the morning of August 2 to five federal criminal charges brought against him. These charges include one count of racketeering and four counts of violating the Mann Act, which forbids interstate and foreign transportation of women and girls for sexual or other immoral purposes.

This is only one of two sets of federal charges that prosecutors in Chicago and New York brought against the 52-year-old r'n'b star. Following these highly publicized allegations, he was arrested on July 12 in Chicago while he was out walking his dog. The charges - 18 in all - allege that Kelly has abused women and young girls for two decades.

Joseph Fitzpatrick, U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman, said the counts brought against him in Chicago include: "Child porn, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice."

Eastern District of New York Judge Steven L. Tiscione denied Kelly's request for bail, telling the court that he was facing "incredibly serious charges," with a long history of similar allegations behind him. He added that Kelly has "significant incentive to flee" and due to his financial resources, Kelly is to remain in jail.

At the tail end of 2018, a three-part documentary called Surviving R. Kelly was released on Lifetime, which showcased powerful testimonies from alleged former victims of the R&B singer and addressed the rumors of his abuse and predatory behavior. The following public outcry and cultural blowback caused high-profile artists like Lady Gaga to come forward and apologize for working with R. Kelly in the past, though he has continued to deny the allegations.


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