For R. Kelly, the show will go on...for the most part.
A day after the R&B star avoided jail for missing hearing in his long-playing kiddie-porn case, Kelly on Friday managed to keep his bond intact and, in turn, his tour on track.
Over the objection of Chicago prosecutors, who called Kelly's unexcused absence earlier in this week another example of the Grammy winner's "brazenness," Cook County Criminal Court Judge Vincent Gaughan decided to allow the singer to remain free on $750,000 bond and thereby continue on his 45-city road show.
Kelly's next scheduled performance is Friday night in Chi-town.
Gaughan cited expectations of both workers and ticket holders for Kelly's nationwide trek as the impetus behind his decision. The judge said he did not want to put support staff out of work during the holiday season or disappoint fans with a flurry of last-minute concert cancellations.
On Thursday, Gaughan admonished Kelly for skipping a hearing the previous day, after the singer's bus convoy was halted in Utah due to bad weather and then bad driving.
Should Kelly's bond have been revoked, he would have been prohibited from traveling outside the state of Illinois.
As it is, Gaughan did make one exception to his Yuletide cheer-inspired ruling. The judge ordered the "Trapped in the Closet" auteur to scuttle his Jan. 13 stop in Hampton, Virginia, to ensure Kelly would be present in Chicago for a Jan. 14 hearing.
During Friday's brief proceedings, the judge also set a new trial date in the singer's case, penciling in a May 9 start.
And Gaughan again reprimanded Kelly for the circumstances surrounding his no-show.
The singer was en route to Chicago from a San Diego tour stop Tuesday morning, when the four-bus caravan was tagged for going over 100 mph and pulled over by the Utah Highway Patrol. Officers checked the tour bus logs and determined that drivers had not been taking mandatory rest stops. The vehicles were idled for several hours, and Kelly missed his court date.
In court Friday, Gaughan scolded Kelly for his speeding buses, saying it could have had disastrous consequences if one of the rigs hit another vehicle, particularly a schoolbus. As such, the judge said that no vehicle the singer rides in is allowed to go over the speed limit.
"I'd like to say sorry for this whole incident, and next time, I would get a plane," the admittedly aviation-phobic "I Believe I Can Fly" singer told the court.
Kelly's legal crew pointed out that in the six-year-old case, Wednesday's missed hearing was his first. The singer had previously shown for more than 100 required dates.
His legal mess stems from child-pornography charges filed in 2002, after a widely circulated videotape purportedly showed him having sex with a girl prosecutors say could have been as young as 13 or 14. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
I do not like the tune of this article. It seems like a white wash of child abuse by RíKelly. In this article the writer calls it ďkiddiepornĒ. Also the ruling of the judge about the none show of RíKelly in court is understandable. The judge wanted to give a Christmas present to RíKelly by being not to harsh on him. And also the judge did not want to disturb the concerts RíKelly has in 45 cities. The fans would otherwise be disappointed. Such a happy tidings. No wonder that the judge is so nice to him. We know the courts are stacked with freemasons.
What about the young girls RíKelly abused? Will they also have a happy Christmas? No word about that in this article.
At the end of the article the journalist talks a bit about the ďallegedĒ sex which RíKelly had with a 14 year old girl. According to him it was just a video on the internet. Nothing to worry about. RíKellyís fans apparently do not worry either that RíKelly is charged on 14 counts of child abuse. Its such a happy world if your brain does not work.
The message from this article and the RíKelly case is clear. Nothing wrong with being a pedophile. It seems pretty much accepted by the music fans, the judges and the media.
R. Kelly arrested in child porn case
R&B star indicted on child pornography charges
June 6, 2002 Posted: 6:27 AM EDT (1027 GMT)
R. Kelly being taken into custody at the Polk County Sheriff's Office in Florida on Wednesday.
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) -- Chart-topping R&B star R. Kelly was arrested in Florida Wednesday, hours after he was indicted on 21 counts of child pornography stemming from a videotape that allegedly shows him having sex with an underage girl, officials said.
A spokeswoman for the Polk County Sheriff's Office said R. Kelly was taken into custody there, but would not elaborate. Allan Mayer, an attorney for the Grammy-winning singer, also confirmed he is in custody.
An Illinois grand jury charged the 33-year-old singer -- whose full name is Robert Kelly -- with 21 counts of child pornography based on the videotape, which police said was recorded sometime between November 1997 and February. Investigators said the girl depicted in the video was born in September 1984, which would make her 17 now.
Chicago Police Superintendent Terry Hillard said FBI evidence technicians have examined the videotape and consider it authentic.
"It's unfortunate to see Mr. Kelly's talents go to waste, but it becomes a tragedy when behavior damages the community," Hillard said.
CNN NewsPass VIDEO
CNN's Jeff Flock reports on the indictment and arrest of R. Kelly (June 5)
If convicted, the Grammy-winning singer faces a prison term of up to 15 years and a fine of up to $100,000. His lawyer, Ed Genson, said he would disprove the child pornography charges.
"The charge is that there's a young lady under the age of 18 on that tape and there isn't," Genson told The Associated Press. "That's simply the stance that I'm taking. We're going to court and we'll disprove that she was underage." The girl's family members also have denied that she is featured on the video, Genson said.
Kelly said he would be proven innocent.
"Even though I don't believe any of these charges are warranted, I'm grateful that I will have a chance to establish the truth about me in a court of law. I have complete faith in our system of justice, and I'm confident that when all the facts come out, people will see that I'm no criminal," he said in a statement released through attorney, Edward Genson.
The Chicago Sun-Times received the videotape earlier this year. The newspaper passed the tape along to the sex crimes unit of the Chicago Police Department, which investigated. Illinois law prohibits producing or disseminating child pornography or soliciting a minor to participate in sex acts on tape or film.
Investigators interviewed more than 50 witnesses who went before the grand jury and identified the singer as the person in the video, authorities said. The FBI crime lab in Quantico, Virginia, authenticated the tape, officials said.
"We would not have proceeded if we weren't confident with the identification of the people on the tape," said Cook County State's Attorney Richard Devine.
Devine said the sex acts on the video occurred in Kelly's home in Chicago.
"The indictments hopefully will send a message to sexual predators ... [that] taking advantage of minors will not be tolerated and there are severe penalties," he said.
Bootleg copies of the video are for sale on the street across the country, selling for $10 for VHS and $15 for DVD. Hillard warned that anyone who has bought or is selling copies of the tape is in possession of child pornography.
"It would be my advice to you to dispose of these tapes," he said.
Authorities would not comment on the identity of the girl in the videotape. The Chicago Sun-Times said she was the then-14-year-old daughter of an associate of R. Kelly's, but added that the girl and her parents have denied the allegations.
Kelly is known for inspirational hits such as "I Believe I Can Fly," but also raunchy ones like "Feelin' On Yo Booty." He has also worked as a producer with Celine Dion, Michael and Janet Jackson, and the Isley Brothers.
He has previously settled lawsuits brought by two women who accused him of having sex with them when they were minors. Documents have also shown that Kelly married the late singer Aaliyah, his former protege, when she was just 15. The marriage was later annulled.
A third lawsuit was filed recently by a Chicago woman who accused Kelly of impregnating her when she was a teen-ager and forcing her to have an abortion.
Kelly is married to a former dancer from his touring troupe. The couple have a newborn son and two young daughters.
in 2002 he was charged and he still has not set one foot in jail for abusing multiple kids. Wonder why. Why are the parents from the 14 year old in the sex tape denying that it was her having sex with R'Kelly? There seem to be multiple ladies which he abused when they were teenagers. Some became pregnant and were forced to have a abortion.
Thats a good point. They would probably take away her daughter. There seem to be many more girls involved in this. The disgusting part is that everybody is protecting r'kelly. The judges, the media, the fans. What message does this sent to the victims?