R. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to multiple sex crimes charges.
The R&B singer was in a Chicago courtroom on Tuesday (July 16) for his bond hearing, wearing an orange jumpsuit and shackled at the ankles. He has been in jail for five days on separate federal indictments in Illinois and New York, and will remain behind bars after a judge denied him bail.
Federal prosecutors described him as “an extreme danger to the community, especially to minor girls,” reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
“This risk of obstruction is real. This risk is ongoing. This risk is heightened by the defendant’s fame and power,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Angel Krull told Judge Harry Leinenweber.
Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, said his client can be trusted not to flee if released from custody.
“Unlike his most famous song — ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ — Mr. Kelly doesn’t like to fly,” said Greenberg. “How could he flee? He has no money. There’s no evidence that he’s a risk to minors at all at this point.”
The 52-year-old singer appeared in federal court for an arraignment on charges, including production of child porn, sex-trafficking, racketeering, crossing state lines for sex with underage girls, and obstruction of justice. Greenberg submitted a not guilty plea for Kelly to charges in the indictments.
Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary, Kelly’s girlfriends who live with him at Trump Tower in Chicago, showed up to court to support the singer.
“Today’s decision to deny bond is a small glimmer of hope, but we look forward to feeling the full rays of justice,” Joycelyn’s mother, Jonjelyn Savage, said in a statement.
Kelly faces a maximum prison sentence of 195 years in Chicago, with decades more in New York.