R. Kelly, embattled American R&B singer, has been denied bail bond after pleading not guilty to the federal sex crime charges leveled against him.
The singer, 52, was arraigned on Tuesday before the Chicago federal courtroom, following his arrest days earlier.
According to court documents, the singer was indicted on one count of conspiracy to receive child pornography, two counts of receiving child pornography, and four counts of producing child pornography.
He was also accused of paying huge sums to recover videotapes of himself having sex with underage girls, alongside five counts of enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Michael Avenatti, lawyer who represented three of R. Kelly’s alleged victims, claimed, before the hearing, that the singer had paid $2 million to shun a witness of the case during a previous trial.
According to Harry Leinenweber, US district judge, R. Kelly would remain in custody as he awaits trial on child pornography charges.
Steven Greenberg, the singer’s lawyer, had entered a not-guilty plea but Angel Krull, assistant US attorney, countered on the premise that the singer was a “flight risk” and that he might flee and pose a threat to the community.
“The man is not a flight risk. The man never missed a court date in the 2000s when he was charged with a case. He hasn’t missed a court date on the state case that’s pending now,” Greenberg countered.
“How can he flee? He has no money. It’s the worst-kept secret that he was going to get charged federally, and he hasn’t fled. So he’s certainly not a flight risk. He’s not a danger to anybody at all.”
R. Kelly has faced multiple allegations of sexual abuse over the past 20 years and was acquitted of all charges in 2008.
However, Lifetime’s documentary series ‘Surviving R Kelly’ shared some accounts from alleged victims that reawakened the case. The singer, on his part, consistently denied any wrongdoing.