A Brooklyn judge denied R. Kelly bail Wednesday after the accused singer requested to be released while awaiting trial, reports say.
Lawyers for the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer asked a federal judge earlier this week if he would reconsider his decision to hold Kelly, 52, in jail without bond, according to the Chicago Tribune.
While his lawyers argued that even if Kelly was out of jail he does not have the funds to leave the country, new legal documents obtained by TMZ show that prosecutors believe the singer is still deemed a flight risk.
The outlet cited prosecutors who claimed that after Kelly’s release on bail in Illinois, he attempted to travel to Dubai with two of his girlfriends, and that he continues to make thousands of dollars in music royalties — which he allegedly has been redirecting to a friend’s bank account.
Page Six reported that Kelly, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was not present in court Wednesday for Brooklyn federal Judge Ann Donnelly’s decision.
Donnelly added that she found Kelly’s finances to be “murky, to say the least” and if he were to be released there would be “nothing to deter him” from intimidating the witnesses in the case.
On Monday, an 11-page motion was filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn in which Kelly’s attorney, Steven Greenberg, complained about his client’s unfair restrictions while being held in general population at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reported.
“His visits are severely restricted; presently, he is only allowed one unrelated person to visit. In other words, although he lives and has lived with two lady friends, only one of them is allowed to be on his visiting list, and after 90 days he is required to switch,” Greenberg argued.
“No other friends or professional colleagues are allowed to visit,” Greenberg continued. “That is not right.”
Kelly is currently facing charges of sex-trafficking, sexual assault and child pornography spread throughout Brooklyn, Chicago and Minneapolis.
In June, he pleaded not guilty to 11 felony sexual abuse counts after he was charged by Cook County prosecutors in Chicago in May. The charges included five counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, stemming from one accuser who claimed Kelly abused her in 2009 and 2010 while she was underage.
A month later the singer was arrested again and indicted on federal charges including child pornography, racketeering and obstruction of justice in both Illinois and New York, indictment documents and his lawyer confirmed. He has remained jailed since after being denied bail.
Following in August, Kelly was charged with two sex crimes in Minnesota after allegedly paying a teen girl $200 to dance nude back in 2001.
The trial is set to begin May 18, 2020, Page Six reported, and the proceeding is expected to take three weeks.
Kelly, who was also the subject of the bombshell documentary Surviving R. Kelly earlier this year, has maintained his innocence throughout his legal troubles.