RadioOnFire.com – R. Kelly was ordered held without bail on Tuesday after federal prosecutors described him as “an extreme danger to the community, especially to minor girls,” at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Chicago. “This risk of obstruction is real. This risk is ongoing. This risk is heightened by the defendant’s fame and power,” one assistant U.S. attorney told Judge Harry Leinenweber, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Kelly “has a unique ability to influence and intimidate witnesses and victims, and that continues to this day.” But Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, said his client can be trusted not to flee if released from custody.
“Unlike his most famous song — ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ — Mr. Kelly doesn’t like to fly,” Greenberg said. “How could he flee? He has no money,” Greenberg added. “There’s no evidence that he’s a risk to minors at all at this point.” Federal prosecutors last week broadsided Kelly with two indictments that threaten to put him behind bars for the rest of his life. In Brooklyn and Chicago, Kelly faces a combined 18 counts for alleged crimes against 10 victims. Kelly’s arraignment and detention hearing started about 1 p.m. in Leinenweber’s 19th floor courtroom at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse. Kelly faces a maximum prison sentence of 195 years in Chicago alone — and some charges here carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years. The 52-year-old R&B singer faces decades more in New York. And Kelly already faced state charges that could put him behind bars for up to 30 years. Kelly has been locked up in Chicago’s downtown Metropolitan Correctional Center ever since federal agents arrested him while he walked his dog around 7 p.m. Thursday near his downtown apartment. Prosecutors revealed their indictments the next day, and they’ve said he should remain in custody. In Brooklyn, Kelly faces a broader racketeering case alleging his music career was designed to enable and protect him as he sexually exploited young women by isolating them, controlling them and making them call him “Daddy.” Kelly has long denied wrongdoing. His attorney, Steve Greenberg, said the singer looks forward “to his day in court, to the truth coming out and to his vindication from what has been an unprecedented assault by others for their own personal gain.” The effort to prosecute Kelly gained steam with the release earlier this year of the Lifetime documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly.” But it dates to 2002, when Jim DeRogatis— then a music critic and reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times — received a sex tape he passed on to police. Kelly faced trial for child pornography in 2008. A jury acquitted the artist, complaining to reporters that Kelly’s alleged victim never took the stand. This time, prosecutors said, that alleged victim is cooperating with authorities.