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R. Kelly Denied Bail on Sex-Trafficking Charges in New York, Pleads Not Guilty

R. Kelly was denied bail during a status hearing in New York Wednesday afternoon in connection to the federal charges of racketeering and sex trafficking, despite a motion from his attorneys that says he is suffering from medical issues while in jail, according to News 5 in Chicago and the New York Daily News.

Magistrate Judge Steven Tiscione denied bail, saying Kelly poses a flight risk and a danger to public safety. The judge on Wednesday set Kelly’s next court hearing, which the singer is not expected to attend, for Dec. 9 in New York; he also set Kelly’s New York trial date for May 18, 2020. The trial is expected to last three weeks.

Kelly is also facing charges in Chicago, where he is being held in prison, on charges including seven counts related to child pornography, five counts of enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

The motion, which was filed Monday in the Eastern District of New York, said Kelly is suffering multiple ailments, including numbness in the hand and an untreated hernia, that are not “presently receiving adequate medical care,” and asked authorities to reconsider his bail. The motion asked that the singer be released immediately because he has no previous convictions, presents no flight risk or danger to the community.

Similar claims were dismissed by the judge in Kelly’s last hearing in New York in August, who cited the singer’s alleged “multitude of crimes spanning from 1997 to 2018,” noting they include “incredibly serious sexual abuse of minors, coercion, child pornography.” He said he is also “extremely troubled by issues of potential obstruction and the strong possibility of witness tampering if he is released.”

The New York indictment claims that the singer ran a racketeering enterprise involving “managers, bodyguards, drivers, personal assistants and runners for the defendant, as well as members of his entourage” who recruited women and girls for sex with Kelly, also transporting them across state lines. It also claims that he filmed the sexual activity, including sex with underage victims.

 

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