A judge has decided that R. Kelly will remain behind bars for now following Kelly’s request to get out of jail while he awaits trial in sex-trafficking and racketeering cases.
Federal Judge Ann Donnelly ruled that the 52-year-old singer will remain in jail and agreed with prosecutors that he would attempt to flee if let free, according to TMZ in a piece published Wednesday.(RELATED: Fans Don’t React To R. Kelly’s Boycott Over Sexual Abuse Allegations The Way You’d Expect)
A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York cited “risk of flight and history of alleged obstruction” as the reason, per New York PIX 11.
It comes after prosecutors argued that the “Bump n’ Grind” hitmaker was definitely a flight risk. According to docs obtained by the outlet, the government said that Kelly‘s team’s argument that he wasn’t going to leave the country because he doesn’t have his passport didn’t hold water. (RELATED: Superstar Rapper Says He Failed Alleged R. Kelly Survivors: ‘We Failed Our Communities As Black People’)
Secondly, prosecutors said the singer “has a history of coercing women to write letters containing false and embarrassing allegations” so that he can “intimidate witnesses” and later use those letters as blackmail.(RELATED: R. Kelly Indicted On Racketeering And Sexual Exploitation Of Children)
This comes after Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, filed documents with the court on Monday arguing that “Kelly is in his 50’s, does not have any criminal history, has never missed a court date, could not hide or evade surveillance given his fame, now has no passport, has posted a substantial bond in State court, has voluntarily turned himself in on all charges and made no attempt to flee in the face of imminent federal charges, and is presumed innocent,” per Page Six.
The lawyer also argued that Kelly is too broke and suffering from various health problems, including an untreated hernia, to escape justice before the cases go to trial.
Greenberg asked the federal judge in Brooklyn to let his client go free from jail while he awaits trial for a variety of cases in Chicago, Brooklyn and Minneapolis. He as been behind bars at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, mostly in solitary confinement, since July. A separate request is still pending in Chicago from the judge to free him.