R. Kelly briefly went missing to his attorney’s knowledge during a transfer from Chicago to New York City to face federal charges.
According to the NY Daily News, Kelly’s attorney says he was unaware of his client’s location. than informed. The Daily News reports federal marshals did not put Kelly on a plane until Thursday afternoon and according to Attorney Douglas Anton and after landing in Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, no one told him where he was being held.
“I have spent the hours that followed his landing on the phone with the (Bureau of Prisons) at both New York MCC and Brooklyn MDC trying to locate my client, but no one would provide that information to me, even recognizing I am his attorney,” writes Anton in a letter to Judges Anne Donnelly and Steven Tiscione. Anton anticipated a delayed court appearance due to he and Kelly being unable to meet prior to the scheduled appearance.
Once located in a Brooklyn facility, R. Kelly made his scheduled hearing where he entered a not guilty plea on all charges. The charges include one count of racketeering and four counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits sexual trafficking across state lines. There are five alleged victims including three underage girls.
NPR reports R. Kelly’s support in the courtroom includes Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage, along with an older woman escorting the two young women identified through Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly docuseries. Alongside the girls included older fans of R. Kelly sporting “#UnMute R. Kelly” t-shirts.
R. Kelly was denied bail following the not guilty plea. He also faces 10 charges of aggravated Sexual Abuse in Illinois. If convicted, the singer faces up to 80 years behind bars.
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