E. JASON WAMBSGANS/AFP/Getty Images

R. Kelly missed a pre-trial court hearing in his sexual abuse case in Chicago, Illinois after he apparently refused to be transported from jail. The R&B superstar was due to appear in court on Thursday, Aug. 15, for a pre-trial hearing.

Kelly, 52, is being held in a Chicago jail without bond. He faces state and federal charges of sexual abuse of a minor in Illinois, New York, and Minnesota - charges which he denies.

Kelly's refusal to appear in court frustrated prosecutors and the presiding judge - who decided to continue the hearing without him.

According to WENN.com, Judge Lawrence Flood told Kelly's lead defense lawyer Steve Greenberg: "He has to be here."

Prosecutor Jennifer Gonzalez told the judge: "The defendant was to be brought to court today. That was all worked out. The sheriffs were going to be bringing him over. As I understand it, he refused transport and so that is why the defendant is not before your honor today."

But Greenberg denied reports that his client refused to get on the bus.

Greenberg said the prosecutor's claim was not "not 100 per cent true" and he explained that U.S. Marshals said moving Kelly from his jail cell at Chicago's Metropolitan Corrections Center was a "large undertaking".

The charges Kelly faces include sexual assault, abuse of a minor, making indecent images of minors, racketeering and obstruction of justice.

The singer is being tried in Illinois first. His next court date in Chicago is September 17.