US R&B singer R. Kelly has walked out of a Chicago jail after posting $US100,000 ($139,410) bail that will allow him to go free while awaiting trial on charges that he sexually abused four people dating back to 1998, including three underage girls.
Hours earlier, the R&B star pleaded not guilty to the allegations after spending the weekend behind bars. He said little during the brief arraignment, telling the judge only his name. His lawyers spoke on his behalf.
The singer-songwriter was arrested on Friday on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse.
A judge set bond at $US1 million ($1.4 million), meaning Kelly had to post 10 per cent of that amount to be released. He will be forbidden from having any contact with females younger than 18.
The recording artist has been trailed for decades by allegations that he violated underage girls and women and held some as virtual slaves. Kelly has consistently denied any sexual misconduct, and he was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008.
Defence lawyer Steve Greenberg reiterated at a news conference that Kelly has done nothing wrong and said no one has shown him any evidence to the contrary.
“Everybody is entitled to a defence. Everybody is entitled to the presumption of innocence. We should all be taking a step back.
“Let’s see what happens, what the evidence is and how this plays out,” Greenberg said.
Details of the allegations against Kelly emerged Saturday when the prosecution released four detailed documents – one for each accuser – outlining the basis for the charges.
The allegations date back as far as 1998 and span more than a decade.
A jury in 2008 acquitted Kelly of child pornography charges that centred on a graphic video that prosecutors said showed him having sex with a girl as young as 13. He and the female allegedly seen with him denied they were in the 27-minute video, even though the picture quality was good and witnesses testified it was them, and she did not take the stand.
Each count of the new charges carries up to seven years in prison, making it possible for Kelly to receive up to 70 years. Probation is also an option.