R Kelly to stay in jail for one or two more days, says lawyer

In this photo taken and released by the Chicago Police Dept., Friday, Feb. 22, 2019, R&B singer R. Kelly is photographed
In this photo taken and released by the Chicago Police Dept., Friday, Feb. 22, 2019, R&B singer R. Kelly is photographed during booking at a police station in Chicago, Il. R. Kelly, the R&B star who has been trailed for decades by allegations that he violated underage girls and women and held some as virtual slaves, is due in court Saturday after being charged with aggravated sexual abuse involving four victims, including at least three between the ages of 13 and 17. (Chicago Police Dept. via AP)

R Kelly will not get out of jail until Monday or Tuesday as arrangements are made to pay the 100,000 US dollars (£76,000) bail needed to free him while he awaits trial on charges of aggravated sexual abuse, his lawyer has said.

The R&B star, 52, had hoped to walk out of the 7,000-inmate Chicago jail over the weekend, but defence lawyer Steve Greenberg told The Associated Press in a phone interview that coordinating of the payment is complicated.

“He has to rely on others acting on his behalf,” said Mr Greenberg. “And it’s just not that easy — because Kelly’s in jail.”

ADDITION R Kelly Accusations
Courtroom sketch of R Kelly and lawyer Steve Greenberg before Cook County Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr (Tom Gianni/AP)

A bond-court judge on Saturday set bail at one million dollars (£766,000), requiring the Grammy Award-winning singer to pay 10%. Among the conditions of release is that Kelly must not have contact with females under 18.

In arguing for bail within the singer’s ability to pay, Mr Greenberg told the judge Kelly was not wealthy despite decades of success creating hit songs, blaming mismanagement, bad contracts and other issues for his client’s financial woes.

Mr Greenberg said he had braced for the possibility that bail could be higher than one million dollars, but was pleased when Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr arrived at the number he did.

There are multiple logistical issues that could have thwarted Kelly’s efforts to pay, said Joseph Lopez, a criminal defence attorney in Chicago not connected to the Kelly case.

Bond can be paid by credit card, cash or cheque. Court officials must be able to talk to bank officials directly to confirm that an amount written on a cheque is covered, and that is not possible when banks are closed, Mr Lopez said.

R Kelly Investigations
R Kelly’s defence lawyer, Steve Greenberg (Ashlee Rezin/AP)

Records on the county sheriff’s website say Kelly is in Division 8 of Cook County Jail, where the medical unit is located but also where inmates considered at risk from the general inmate population are held, said Mr Lopez.

Kelly was charged in a grand jury indictment unsealed on Friday with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four alleged victims, three of whom were minors.

The allegations date back as far as 1998 and span more than a decade.

At the bond hearing, Mr Greenberg said his client is not a flight risk. He told the judge, “Contrary to the song, Mr Kelly doesn’t like to fly.” One of Kelly’s best-known hits is I Believe I Can Fly.

After the hearing, Mr Greenberg told reporters that Kelly did not force anyone to have sex.

“He’s a rock star. He doesn’t have to have non-consensual sex,” Mr Greenberg said.

The judge ordered Kelly to surrender his passport, ending his hopes of doing a tour of Europe in April. Kelly scheduled concerts in Germany and the Netherlands despite the cloud of legal issues looming over him.

Mr Greenberg denied that any tour was planned.

Kelly was tried and acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008 and has consistently denied any sexual misconduct.

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