R Kelly refused bail as prosecutor says singer is ‘still a danger to young girls’
A judge said that the singer's lawyer had not been able to prove that Kelly was not a danger to the public.
A judge in the US has ordered R Kelly to remain behind bars without bail after a prosecutor claimed the singer would still pose a danger to young girls if he was set free.
Speaking in court on Tuesday, assistant US attorney Angel Krull told district judge Harry Leinenweber: “If he was attracted to middle school girls in 1999 then he’s still attracted to middle school girls.
“That’s who the defendant is and that, your honour, makes him a danger today.
“Electronic monitoring can’t stop obstruction of justice, witness tampering.”
She added: “He can entice victims to his own home.”
Mr Leinenweber said Kelly would have to prove that he was not a danger to the public under federal law, and that Kelly’s lawyer had failed to do this.
The R&B singer was arrested in Chicago last week while out walking his dog, and faces a number of sex-related charges in the city, and in New York – which he denies.
Kelly, who appeared in court wearing an orange jumpsuit with shackles around his ankles, said only two words in court, “yes, sir”, when asked if he understood the charges.
The ruling in Chicago means he will remain in prison to face separate charges in New York, where he is charged with racketeering, kidnapping, forced labour and the sexual exploitation of a child.
The denial of bail for Kelly could mean that the 52-year-old spends the rest of his life behind bars, due to the length of time it is likely to take for each count to go to trial.
Ms Krull said the singer was a predator who went to great lengths to find young girls and keep them under his control, adding that the evidence against him is overwhelming.
Kelly, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was first arrested on sex-related charges in 2002 after a video allegedly showing him having sex with a 14-year-old girl was sent to the Chicago Sun-Times.
However, after lengthy delays, he was acquitted in 2008, in part due to the girl deciding not to testify in court.
Ms Krull claims Kelly paid the victim and her family off and that the alleged victim from the video had since testified before a federal grand jury and confirmed it was her.
Kelly’s legal problems intensified in February after he was arrested and charged with 10 counts in Illinois of sexually abusing three girls and a woman.
He pleaded not guilty and was released on bail.
Cook County lawyers added 11 sex-related counts in May, involving one with the women who accused him of sexually abusing her when she was underage.
Kelly’s lawyer said that preparing for a trial will be a long and difficult process, due to the rapper’s inability to read, meaning someone will have to visit him and speak to him about the documents that the case is likely to generate.
He has previously filed for bankruptcy, with his lawyer saying: “How could he flee? He has no money.” SkyNews