R. Kelly’s Bail Denied, Judge ‘Extremely Troubled’ By ‘Strong Possibility Of Witness Tampering’
R. Kelly won’t be getting out of jail anytime soon. Despite asking the judge to be released on bail, the disgraced singer was denied his request Friday. He was arraigned in Brooklyn Federal Court for racketeering and sexual abuse charges. He’s accused of exploiting five victims, including three minors. Those are just two of several related charges that Kelly is facing this year. But unlike in the past, he won’t be released on bail.
Kelly didn’t make a statement in the courtroom, other than confirming with the judge that he understood what he was being charged for. Prosecutors argued that he would be a flight risk if released. And pointed out his
“lengthy and wide-ranging history of criminal conduct.”
They also mentioned his trial for child pornography in 2002 where he was acquitted. During that time, Kelly was also accused of obstructing justice and allegedly
“paying off and intimidating witnesses not to appear.”
Kelly, wearing prison attire, pleaded not guilty via his lawyers Douglas Anton and Steven Greenberg.
Anton challenged the prosecutors and said Kelly hasn’t had an issue in the past of being a flight risk, especially during his child pornography trial that lasted six years. He also pointed out that Kelly surrendered his passport.
As for the judge, he made note of Kelly’s
“multitude of crimes spanning from 1997 to 2018 [including] incredibly serious sexual abuse of minors, coercion, child pornography…”
He also said Kelly has
“access to financial resources.”
The judge added that he’s
“extremely troubled by issues of potential obstruction and the strong possibility of the witness tampering if he is released.”
He continued and said Kelly
“cannot be relied upon to comply with the terms of the release.”
Despite being charged denied bail, Kelly 52, was able to let out a smile and nod at his girlfriends Azriel Clary, 21 and Joycelyn Savage, 23, whose parents say they’re convinced Kelly has been holding against their will. Both refused to comment after the hearing.
He had fans waiting for him outside of the courtroom to show their support. Some wore shirts that said, “Free R. Kelly” and another had jewels and snapshots featuring photos of Kelly.
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