CHICAGO — A federal judge on Tuesday ordered R. Kelly held in a Chicago jail without bond on sex-related charges, saying that the R&B singer had failed to convince the court that he would not commit new crimes if released.
U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber handed down the ruling after Kelly was arrested last week. He faces 13 federal charges in Chicago and New York, including having sex with minors and trying to cover up the crimes by paying off victims and their families.
Kelly, wearing an orange jumpsuit and shackled at the ankles, did not speak except to say "yes sir" when the judge asked if he understood the charges. His attorney, Steve Greenberg, submitted a not guilty plea.
Prosecutors said the sexual abuse involved 12 unique victims, a majority of them minors at the time of the alleged encounters, and at least three new sex tapes.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Angel Krull said Kelly was "an extreme danger to the community, especially minor girls." She also argued that he might flee if released.
"If he was attracted in 1999 to middle school girls, he's still attracted to middle school girls," Krull said. "It's who the defendant is and that, your honor, makes him a danger today."
Kelly was first arrested on sex charges in 2002 but was acquitted by a Chicago jury in 2008. He was arrested earlier this year on new state charges brought by Illinois prosecutors. His arrest last week was on separate federal charges.
He will be taken to New York while still in custody to face a separate indictment alleging he sexually abused underage girls across the country.
Kelly faces a mandatory 10 year sentence in Illinois with a maximum of 195 years, as well as up to 80 years on racketeering charges in New York. In New York, he was accused of being the leader of a ring of associates who lured underage girls for sex.