R. Kelly appears in court as prosecutors turn over ‘pornographic’ DVD

Video shows alleged sexual encounter with teen

R. Kelly appears in court as prosecutors turn over ‘pornographic’ DVD
R&B singer R. Kelly, center, arrives at the Leighton Criminal Court building for an arraignment on sex-related felonies Wednesday, June 26, 2019 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Amr Alfiky) (Source: Amr Alfiky)

CHICAGO (Gray News/AP/CNN) – R. Kelly appeared in court Wednesday for a status hearing on sexual assault charges.

At the session, prosecutors turned over a DVD of an alleged sexual encounter between the Grammy award-winning singer and a minor.

The judge warned there would be criminal charges for anyone who shared the video.

However, Kelly’s team argued the video, originally obtained by attorney Michael Avenatti, had been passed around before criminal charges were filed.

The singer’s next hearing is set for August 15, at which time the judge said he’s likely to set an early 2020 trial date.

Kelly’s spokesman Darrell Johnson said the singer looks forward to the start of the trial.

“He knows he’s innocent, so the sooner the better for him,” Johnson said, adding that Kelly is “living on royalties right now.”

Earlier this month, Kelly pleaded not guilty to 11 additional sex-related charges, including four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, which carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. That is more than four times as long as the maximum term for each of the 10 counts Kelly was originally charged with in February.

The singer has denied any wrongdoing.

Kelly defense attorney Steve Greenberg has said he couldn’t speculate as to why prosecutors brought the new charges, which pertain to one of the four women he was charged in February with sexually abusing years ago, three of whom were minors when the alleged abuse occurred.

"It's the same case. It's just that they've just changed what they've charged him with," Greenberg said in early June. "It's the same facts ... the same bond, the same evidence. We expect the same result."

According to the latest indictment, the first eight counts are from encounters that allegedly occurred between Jan. 1 and Jan. 31, 2010. Three others pertain to alleged encounters between May 1, 2009, and Jan. 31, 2010.

Among other things, prosecutors allege that Kelly used force or threatened to do so to pressure the accuser into sex or to perform oral sex on him. Since she was underage at the time, the statute of limitations for bringing charges was extended to 20 years from her 18th birthday, they wrote.

A woman has come forward to say publicly that 11 new felony counts stem from allegations she made about the R&B singer.

Jerhonda Pace wrote on her Facebook page that she's the accuser identified as "J.P." in court documents. Anticipating an angry reaction by Kelly's fans, Pace — one of four women Kelly is charged with sexually abusing — wrote that "no matter how "wrong" you think I am, the law is on my side, a MINOR at the time."

The Associated Press doesn’t usually name alleged victims of sexual assault, but Pace has gone public with her allegations.

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