R. Kelly arrived in a Brooklyn, New York, courtroom on Friday, where U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven L. Tiscione denied him bond and ordered him to remain locked up. Kelly is facing a five-count indictment in Brooklyn, where he pleaded not guilty.
The New York Daily News reports that he appeared in a blue and orange jail suit, panned around the room to see who was there and smiled at girlfriends Jocelyn Savage and Azriel Clary, who traveled from Chicago to support him.
The judge’s decision came after he said the potential prison sentence attached to Kelly’s charges makes him a flight risk, which is why he should remain behind bars.
Kelly is also facing a 13-count indictment in the Northern District of Illinois related to sex crimes and obstruction of justice that he also pleaded not guilty to. Plus, last month a Chicago judge denied his bond in that case and ordered him to remain in jail. So the Brooklyn judge said it wouldn’t make sense to free Kelly based on that ruling.
“Even if I released him on bail in this case, he’s not going anywhere,” Tiscione stated.
According to New York prosecutors, as early as 1999 Kelly arranged for young women and minors to travel across state lines to have sex. Out of the five alleged victims in the case, three were minors when they said the crimes took place.
Kelly was also accused of giving at least one of those women a sexually transmitted disease without letting her know that he was infected.
Prosecutors also said the 52-year-old paid off witnesses so they wouldn’t testify when he was out on bail in 2002 facing child pornography charges, which is another reason he should remained jailed. And the judge agreed with that reasoning.
“The defendant is accused of a multitude of crimes. They’re not minor charges,” Tiscione explained. “I’m extremely troubled by the issues of potential obstruction in prior cases.”
Besides the federal indictments out of New York and Illinois, Kelly is also facing 21 sexual abuse charges brought by the state of Illinois, which he pleaded not guilty to. Kelly’s attorney told reporters Friday it is not clear where his client will be tried first, Illinois or New York.
He’s facing several decades in prison if found guilty.