Updated 10:05 a.m.
Chicago R&B singer R. Kelly pleaded not guilty Thursday to 11 new counts of sexual assault and abuse of a 16-year-old girl.
The charges filed last week came as Kelly was already facing 10 counts of sexual abuse of four women, including three who were minors at the time of the alleged abuse.
The new case against Kelly represents the most serious charges he’s faced so far, including four Class X felonies for aggravated criminal sexual assault. Those Class X felonies carry up to 30 years in prison each.
In court Thursday, Judge Lawrence Flood said the new charges are connected to one of the four alleged victims in the cases already pending against Kelly.
The alleged victim, identified in court documents by the initials J.P., met Kelly in 2008 while getting his autograph outside of the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, where Kelly was on trial for child pornography, according to prosecutors.
Previously, Kelly had been charged with sexual abuse for allegedly having sex with J.P. when she was a minor. The new charges allege that Kelly forced penetration between himself and the teenage girl, using violence or threats, and that he endangered her life.
In bringing the new charges, prosecutors dropped the previous case involving J.P., leaving Kelly facing a total of 18 counts. Kelly is out on bond on his previous cases, prosecutors did not ask for a new bond in the new case, and Flood said he believed the current bond is “sufficient.”
Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg said Kelly is innocent of all the charges against him, and that the case against him is not really new because it is based on the same conduct already alleged in the previous case.
Patrick Smith is a reporter on WBEZ’s Criminal Justice desk. Follow him @pksmid.