R. Kelly was ordered to be held without bail Tuesday. Federal prosecutors described him as “an extreme danger to the community, especially to minor girls,” at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
Prosecutors say Kelly “has a unique ability to influence and intimidate witnesses and victims, and that continues to this day.”
“This risk of obstruction is real. This risk is ongoing. This risk is heightened by the defendant’s fame and power,” one assistant U.S. attorney told Judge Harry Leinenweber.
Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg told the Chicago Sun Times that 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,” Greenberg said.
“How could he flee? He has no money,” Greenberg added. “There’s no evidence that he’s a risk to minors at all at this point.”
The hearing was to determine whether Kelly should be released from custody after being hit with a total of 18 counts of serious sexual misconduct and other charges in Chicago and New York, on Friday. He was arrested Thursday by federal agents on charges that include child pornography, enticement of a minor, and obstruction of justice, the Chicago Sun Times reported.
If convicted, Kelly faces a maximum prison sentence of 195 years in Chicago alone. Some charges here carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years. The 52-year-old R&B singer faces decades more in New York. And Kelly already faced state charges that could put him behind bars for up to 30 years.
Prosecutors argued that he should not be released.
Kelly was ordered held without bond. The singer entered a not-guilty plea.
Representatives for Kelly, the NYPD and Homeland Security did not immediately respond to requests from TheWrap for comment.
More to come…