On July 16, a federal judge denied Kelly’s request to be freed on bond, concluding he posed a danger to the community and was a flight risk. Kelly, who has pleaded not guilty in both Illinois cases, remained in federal custody and was transported to New York to face charges there.
In Brooklyn, the government argued Kelly poses a flight risk and is a danger to others. There’s also a “serious risk” he could obstruct justice, lead prosecutor Elizabeth Geddes said. During his 2008 trail in Chicago, Kelly told witnesses they could be subject to “physical harm” if they testified against him, Geddes said. Anton said the government’s obstruction claims were “nothing but allegations.”
Magistrate Judge Steven Tiscione denied Kelly’s bail request, saying he was “extremely troubled by potential issues of obstruction in past cases.” Kelly “has a significant incentive to flee” and can’t be trusted to comply with the conditions of his release, Tiscione said.
Kelly, dressed in navy blue prison fatigues, looked down for most of the hearing.
Outside the courthouse, Anton said the alleged victims had “groupie’s remorse.”
“They are groupies, there’s no way around it,” he said. He added that Kelly is “irritated” at behind bars, saying, “Imagine that you’re an innocent person and you’re locked up in prison.”
Gloria Allred, who is representing three of the five, was in court for the arraignment. She called Anton’s descriptions of the accusers inappropriate and inaccurate and said Kelly took advantage of his wealth and power to prey on girls who trusted him.
“They are brave victims seeking justice,” Allred said. “No amount of name-calling or mischaracterization will deter my clients from testifying.”
Among supporters of Kelly gathered outside the courthouse was one wearing a shirt reading “Free R. Kelly” on the front and “Unmute R. Kelly” on the back.
The next hearing will be Oct. 2. Kelly waived his right to an appearance. Anton said he’ll be asking the court to reconsider his client’s bail request.