R. Kelly was ordered without bond at a hearing in federal court after prosecutors deemed him a danger to young women.
The Chicago Times reports Kelly would not receive bail due to his “unique ability to influence and intimidate witnesses and victims, and that continues to this day,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Angel Krull told Judge Harry Leinenweber on Tuesday (July 16).
Prosecutors at the hearing in U.S. District Court in Chicago also explained to Leinenweber Kelly’s ability to reach young women through colleagues and friends without directly speaking to them. Kelly’s Chicago charges mirror his recent indictments in New York which include sexual misconduct and the production of child pornography. Kelly faces a combined 18 counts for alleged crimes against 10 victims.
But his defense has argued the once awarded singer isn’t a flight risk due to his literal fear of flying. “Unlike his most famous song, ‘I Believe I Can Fly,’ Mr. Kelly doesn’t like to fly,” Kelly’s lawyer Steve Greenberg said.
“How could he flee? He has no money. The money’s in concerts and he doesn’t play concerts these days. There’s no evidence that he’s a risk to minors at all at this point.” He also claimed his celebrity might put him in danger behind bars. “The man’s entitled to be held in a humane situation. Mr. Kelly is a difficult person to have [at the facility] because of other prisoners … because of his notoriety.”
Other defendants in his Chicago case include Kelly’s longtime manager, Derrel McDavid, and Kelly employee Milton “June” Brown.
Kelly faces a maximum prison sentence of 195 years in Chicago and a mandatory minimum of 10 years in New York.
In unsurprising fashion, Kelly’s live-in girlfriends Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary were at the hearing to support Kelly. Both women met the singer when they were in their teens and hoped to work with Kelly to further their music careers. Their parents believed their daughters were brainwashed by the singer, causing them to cut off contact from family and friends.