R Kelly pleads not guilty to sex trafficking charges

R Kelly has pleaded not guilty to federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges in New York.

Prosecutors say the 52-year-old singer and his entourage invited women and girls backstage after concerts, kept them away from friends and family and made them financially dependent on him.

It is alleged Kelly controlled what they ate and when they went to the toilet, as well as demanding they called him “Daddy”.

Kelly’s lawyer said fans of the I Believe I Can Fly singer were “dying to be with him” and claimed the charges were a result of “groupie remorse”.

Kelly was denied bail after prosecutors argued he posed a flight risk and was a danger to the community.

His defence lawyers argued for bail so he could better fight the charges against him.

Kelly, who was wearing blue and orange prison clothes, greeted the judge and answered “yes” when asked if he understood his rights.

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The singer was otherwise silent.

A group of supporters gathered in the corridor outside the courtroom and packed the hearing once it began.

One of them, who gave her name as Glenda, said beforehand: “The only thing I’ve got to say is, ‘Free R Kelly’. We want justice.”

The R&B singer also faces child pornography charges in Chicago.

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Source: SKY NEWS

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