Artist News Legal

R Kelly denied bail in New York

By | Published on Monday 5 August 2019

R Kelly

R Kelly has been denied bail by a New York court. This means he will remain in custody as separate criminal proceedings in both New York and Chicago go through the motions. The judge was particularly concerned about accusations of witness tampering in Kelly’s previous child abuse trial in 2008.

At the arraignment hearing at Brooklyn Federal Court, Kelly entered a not guilty plea to the latest set of charges he faces in relation to widespread accusations of sexual abuse, including against minors. Kelly himself only spoke directly to the judge once during the hearing, confirming that he understands the charges against him.

Turning to the issue of bail, prosecution attorneys argued that Kelly was a flight risk, while also raising various accusations of witness tampering. They said that there are numerous allegations of Kelly – aided by his “inner circle” – “paying off and intimidating witnesses not to appear” during his 2008 trial.

Kelly’s attorneys countered that these were unproven allegations. They also said that their client is not a flight risk, noting that he did not run away during the six years that the previous criminal case took to reach its conclusion. He has also already been forced to give up his passport to a court in Chicago, they noted.

Siding with the prosecution, the judge said that Kelly is facing allegations of very serious crimes spanning more than two decades, and that he is “extremely troubled by issues of potential obstruction and the strong possibility of witness tampering if [the musician] is released”.

Adding that he does not believe that Kelly can “be relied upon to comply with the terms of a release”, the judge ordered that the star continue to be held in custody while he awaits trial.

Kelly is next due in court for a hearing in Chicago next month, at which point a start date for that trial should be confirmed. The judge there has already indicated that it is likely to commence in April next year.