According to the Associated Press, R. Kelly will remain in custody as he tries to fight a series of federal charges that allege he sexually abused women and underage girls at his concerts. He appeared at a New York City courtroom Friday, which was described by the AP as being “packed with his supporters.” Ultimately the singer, whose legal name is Robert Kelly, plead not guilty to the federal charges.
Magistrate Judge Steven Tiscione ruled in denying the R&B singer bail that Kelly posed both a flight risk and a danger to public safety. This ruling followed arguments from Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Geddes that Kelly and his associates had a history of witness intimidation and bribery and she feared releasing him on bail would lead to “a serious risk he’ll attempt to obstruct justice.”
In addition to these charges in New York, Kelly also faces a litany of charges in Illinois, including allegations accusing him of engaging in child pornography. He was born and lived much of his life in the city of Chicago.
In New York, he’s charged with exploiting five female victims whose names have been withheld and are identified only as “Jane Doe.” One of the women met him at a radio station as an intern, while another met him at a concert. It’s not clear under what circumstances the other three came to know the R&B singer. Attorneys alleged that he would arrange for these women and girls to travel to meet him for sex while he was touring. One woman states that he had her travel to Long Island, NY where they allegedly had unprotected sex despite Kelly alleged knowledge that he’d contracted an infectious sexually transmitted disease, which is a violation of New York state law.
Kelly’s attorneys meanwhile argue that the alleged victims “pined to be with” the singer and sought his attention. He also argue that he was simply taking the time to get to know these fans and “groupies” and he genuinely cared about them. The allegations, according to the defense, were nothing more than simple “groupie remorse.”