Sunday 18 August 2019

Singer R Kelly pleads not guilty in sex case

R Kelly is being held in a Chicago jail (Amr Alfiky/AP)
R Kelly is being held in a Chicago jail (Amr Alfiky/AP)

Don Babwin

A federal judge has ordered singer R Kelly to be held in a Chicago jail without bond on sex-related charges.

US District Judge Harry Leinenweber handed down the ruling yesterday after Mr Kelly was arrested last week.

The R'n'B star faces charges in Chicago and New York including having sex with minors and trying to cover up the crimes by paying off victims and their families.

Mr Kelly, in an orange jumpsuit and shackled at the ankles, did not speak except to say "yes sir" when asked if he understood the charges.

His lawyer, Steve Greenberg, submitted a not guilty plea.

Assistant US attorney Angel Krull told the court that Mr Kelly was "an extreme danger to the community, especially minor girls". She also argued he might flee if released.

"If he was attracted in 1999 to middle school girls, he's still attracted to middle school girls," Ms Krull said.

"It's who the defendant is and that, your honour, makes him a danger today."

Mr Greenberg said R Kelly was not a flight risk as he spent all his time in his one- bedroom apartment in Trump Tower in Chicago and had no money. Mr Kelly was first arrested on sex charges in 2002 but was acquitted by a Chicago jury in 2008. He was arrested earlier this year on new state charges brought by Illinois prosecutors. His arrest last week was on separate federal charges.

Irish Independent

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