Former JLS star Oritse Williams denied raping a fan in a hotel room at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Thursday. The 31-year-old singer will stand trial next year.
The singer – who enjoyed chart success after shooting to fame on the X Factor in 2008 – was arrested in December 2016 following allegations over an incident at a hotel in Wolverhampton after a concert.
After leaving Wolverhampton Crown Court, Williams posed for selfies with fans and smiled for their cameras.
The pop star picked one child up for a selfie and laughed and joked with members of the public who recognised him.
During a 36-minute hearing on Thursday, he spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and nationality as well as to deny the charge.
Co-defendant Jamien Nagadhana, 31, from Hounslow, west London, denied assault by penetration in connection with the same incident.
Williams, of Croydon, south London, was granted unconditional bail until his trial on May 14 at the same court.
Judge Nicholas Webb told the defendants: “The position is this – your trial is now listed for May 14. Your bail will continue until that date.”
After the allegations came to light, Williams said he would be stepping back from charity work, adding: “Press speculation is likely to be unhelpful to the charities I work with.”
JLS were originally called UFO, only to rename themselves JLS when they auditioned on 2008’s X Factor. They were runner-ups to winner Alexandra Bourke. The band went on to sell 10 million albums and have five numbers one UK singles. They disbanded in 2013. Williams went on to win the ITV dance competition show Stepping Out that same year.