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Judge says NO to releasing R Kelly on bond

A US District Court judge in New York nixed R. Kelly’s motion for bond and home detention on Wednesday, ordering the R&B singer to stay in jail and appear in court on May 18 to answer charges of sex abuse, CBS New York reported.

Kelly is currently in jail in Illinois, where he faces trial on April 27 on similar charges.

A lawyer representing Kelly, 52, said the singer has “numbness in his hand, anxiety, and an untreated hernia” in an 11-page document filed in the Eastern District of New York on Monday, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The New York Daily News reported that the filing also claimed that Kelly’s too famous and ill to go on the lam, and he’s already surrendered his passport. Defense attorney Steve Greenberg also complained on behalf of Kelly that only one of his “two lady friends” is allowed on his visitor’s list at a time.

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U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly, however, agreed with prosecutors that the risk of flight or witness tampering was too great. Kelly is facing 18 federal charges in New York and Illinois, including for sex racketeering, child pornography, and obstruction. In addition to the federal charges, he’s also facing 21 sex-related charges in Cook County, Illinois, and two criminal counts in Minnesota.

Kelly’s defense has called his accusers disgruntled groupies.

A government memo opposing Kelly’s release said that prosecutor’s have evidence that the singer has threatened to “release compromising and potentially embarrassing photographs” of an unnamed victim unless she dropped a lawsuit against him.

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[Featured image: Antonio Perez/ via AP Pool]