R. Kelly appeared in a Brooklyn, New York courtroom Friday and pleaded not guilty to federal charges of racketeering and sexual abuse.
The 52-year-old singer, wearing blue prison togs over an orange shirt, entered a plea through his attorneys Douglas Anton and Steven Greenberg to five federal criminal charges, per Variety magazine. (RELATED: R. Kelly Indicted On Racketeering And Sexual Exploitation Of Children)
The charges include, one count of racketeering and four counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits sexual trafficking across state lines, involving five victims, according to NPR magazine. (RELATED: Fans Don’t React To R. Kelly’s Boycott Over Sexual Abuse Allegations The Way You’d Expect)
Judge Steven L. Tiscione also denied the singer bail and said he was “not going anywhere” after attorneys for the government argued that if the “Bump n’ Grind” singer were released on bond he could be a flight risk. (RELATED: Superstar Rapper Says He Failed Alleged R. Kelly Survivors: ‘We Failed Our Communities As Black People’)
According to the report:
Tiscione rejected the defense’s request for bail, saying that Kelly was facing “incredibly serious charges,” with a long history of similar allegations behind him. Tiscione also said that Kelly appeared to have access to financial resources and has “significant incentive to flee.”
He noted that federal prosecutors are accusing Kelly of having obstructed justice during his last criminal trial in 2008, in which the singer was acquitted of all charges, which the judge said “extremely troubled” him.
The charges are just the latest against the singer who was arrested in Chicago in mid-July. Federal prosecutors in Chicago and New York charged him with a total of 18 federal counts and alleged that he had abused women and girls for two decades between the years of 1997 and 2018. He has remained in jail without bond.
On July 16th, he pleaded not guilty to the 13 charges by prosecutors in Illinois. In addition, Kelly was indicted in February and faces 10 charges of aggravated sexual abuse in Cook County, Illinois.
If convicted of the New York charges, the singer faces 80 years behind bars.