Singer R. Kelly pleaded not guilty to sex crime charges Tuesday at court in Chicago.
The “I Believe I Can Fly” singer was ordered to be held without bail after prosecutors argued he is “an extreme danger to the community, especially to minor girls,” according to a report published by the Chicago Sun Times.
JUST IN: R. Kelly will remain locked up while he awaits trial on federal charges that he filmed himself sexually abusing minors and then tried to destroy evidence of his crimes, a judge has decided.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges in court today.
— NPR (@NPR) July 16, 2019
“This risk of obstruction is real. This risk is ongoing. This risk is heightened by the defendant’s fame and power,” an assistant U.S. attorney said during the hearing.
Kelly “has a unique ability to influence and intimidate witnesses and victims, and that continues to this day,” the attorney continued. (RELATED: R. Kelly Indicted On Racketeering And Sexual Exploitation Of Children)
The singer’s lawyer Steven Greenberg claimed Kelly isn’t a flight risk as he doesn’t even like to fly.
“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,” the lawyer added. “There’s no evidence that he’s a risk to minors at all at this point.”
A federal judge has ordered R. Kelly to be held in a Chicago jail without bond on sex crime charges: “We’re not very happy about that, but that’s the decision of the judge, so we have to live with it,” R. Kelly’s publicist Darrell Johnson said pic.twitter.com/PTVNx8secb
— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) July 16, 2019
Last week, Kelly was hit with a combined 18 counts of charges stemming from sex crimes among 10 victims in Chicago and Brooklyn. He now faces a maximum of 195 years in prison in Chicago, more if the charges in Brooklyn are included, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
Kelly was charged with 13 counts related to allegations of child pornography, illegal sexual activity with a minor and obstruction of justice in Chicago.
Kelly already faced state charges in Illinois that carry a maximum sentence of 30 years before the federal indictment was added.