R&B singer R. Kelly pleaded not guilty on Friday in a New York court to federal charges including racketeering that allege he systematically recruited girls for sex while touring.
The disgraced superstar — who for decades has faced sexual abuse accusations — was brought to the Brooklyn courthouse from Chicago, where he was being held without bond on separate federal charges linked to child pornography.
“Yes sir,” was all Kelly, dressed in blue prison scrubs, said during the arraignment, when asked by the judge whether he understood the charges against him.
The New York indictment unsealed last month says Kelly, 52, would regularly issue wristbands to girls via his associates that granted them backstage access and face time with the musician known for hits like “I Believe I Can Fly.”
Kelly would tell members of his entourage to obtain contact information from girls he wished to see again, the charges read, some of whom were invited to later concerts and provided with lodging.
Girls were to call Kelly “Daddy” and stay inside their rooms without permission from the singer to leave, even to eat or use the restroom, according to court documents.
The New York case involves five unidentified women, three of whom were minors at the time of the alleged crimes, which include coercing sexual activity.
He is also accused of kidnapping one of the victims, and exposing another to a venereal disease without her knowledge.
Kelly, whose given name is Robert Kelly, additionally faces charges of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits transporting people across state lines for purposes of prostitution.
Global millionaires now own nearly half of world’s $361 trillion in wealth
The millionaires of the world, who account for just 0.9 percent of the global population, now own nearly half of the planet's $361 trillion in wealth while the bottom 56 percent of the population owns just 1.8 percent.
That's according to the annual Global Wealth Report released Monday by Credit Suisse, which found that the number of millionaires in the world grew to 47 million between mid-2018 and mid-2019, with the United States leading the world in both new and total millionaires.
According to Credit Suisse, the U.S. added 675,000 new millionaires over the past year, bringing the country's total to 18.6 million.
Jimmy Carter suffers pelvis fracture in another fall at home
Former President Jimmy Carter suffered an injury in a fall at home.
Carter, who turned 95 years old this month, fell Monday evening at his home in Plains, Georgia, and was hospitalized for treatment of a minor pelvic fracture, according to The Carter Center.
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter had a fall yesterday evening at his home in Plains, Ga. He has been admitted to Phoebe Sumter Medical Center for observation and treatment of a minor pelvic fracture. He is in good spirits and is looking forward to recovering at home.
Trump badly needs GOP wins in these deep-red states to hold off impeachment momentum
President Donald Trump badly needs Republican gubernatorial wins in three deep-red states, but they're anything but a sure bet.
The president is expected to campaign for GOP candidates for governor in Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi over the coming weeks, and some of his most prominent supporters, including Vice President Mike Pence, will help out, reported Politico.
“(Those) are states where Republicans can win races for governor," said Henry Barbour, a Republican National Committee member and the nephew of former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. "Those would be big momentum wins for President Trump heading into 2020, but in the unlikely event we lose in all those states it would clearly be a troubling sign that the president would have to overcome."