The judge also ordered Kelly not to have contact with anyone under the age of 18 and to surrender his passport. The 52-year-old has been accused for years of child pornography, sex with minors, operating a sex cult and sexual battery.

R Kelly was charged Friday in Chicago with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse, some involving minors.
R Kelly was charged Friday in Chicago with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse, some involving minors. (AP Archive)

Grammy-winning singer R Kelly, who has faced years of sexual abuse allegations, was ordered held on a $1 million bond on Saturday on charges that he sexually assaulted three teenagers and a woman, as prosecutors offered new details in the case.

Cook County Judge John Lyke, who called the allegations "disturbing," set bail at $1 million for Kelly. The singer appeared in a black hooded sweatshirt and looked down as prosecutors outlined the case against him. He was not asked to enter a plea at what was purely a bond hearing, although his lawyer Steven Greenberg has described Kelly as "an innocent man."

The judge also ordered Kelly not to have contact with anyone under the age of 18 and to surrender his passport.

Kelly is due back in court on Monday when a trial judge is expected to be assigned, a spokesman for the Cook County Sheriff's Office said.

TRT World's Arabella Munro reports. 

The 52-year-old R&B singer was charged on Friday with criminal sexual abuse of at least three girls under 17, a prosecutor said.

Of four female victims in the case, at least three whom he allegedly abused between 1998 and 2010 were under the age of 17 at the time, she said. 

The age of the fourth was not provided.

Kelly faces three to seven years in prison on each count, Kim Foxx, the state's attorney said.

Foxx at a news conference in January had called for anyone alleging abuse by the singer to come forward so their claims could be investigated. 

She made the remarks after the six-hour documentary "Surviving R Kelly" was aired on Lifetime television.

In the documentary, multiple women made allegations of sexual misconduct against the performer.

Social media outcry

The program sparked a furor on social media, and singer Lady Gaga vowed to remove a duet she recorded with Kelly from streaming services and never collaborate with him again.

Kelly, singer of "I Believe I Can Fly" and record producer, has for years denied accusations of abuse, including those made in the documentary.

In 2008, the singer was tried and acquitted on child pornography charges in Chicago.

Kelly's record label, Sony Music-owned RCA, split with the Chicago native last month after activists from the #MuteRKelly pressure group delivered a petition signed by some 217,000 people to Sony headquarters in New York City asking the record company to drop the musician.

Separately last month, a former manager for the singer turned himself in to authorities in Georgia, where he was wanted on a charge of making threats against one of the families that took part in the Lifetime documentary. 

Kelly, a three-time Grammy winner whose hits also include "Bump N' Grind" and "Your Body's Callin," grew up in a Chicago public housing project where, according to his autobiography, he was sexually abused beginning at age 8.

Source: Reuters