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The screws are being tightened on embattled singer Robert “R.” Kelly.
A federal judge has ordered that Kelly, currently being held without bail in isolation in a federal prison in Chicago, be transported to New York next month for arraignment on federal racketeering charges there that he recruited girls for sexual abuse, the Chicago Tribune reports.
As perhaps could be expected, conditions at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago’s Loop are a far cry from the superstar lifestyle Kelly once led.
Per the Tribune:
His lawyer, Steven Greenberg, said Kelly has no access to television, is allowed only five minutes on the telephone each day and must meet with his legal team in a cramped room with only a small table.
News of Kelly’s pending transport by U.S. Marshals Service to New York comes days after another judge ordered Kelly held without bond on federal charges he faces in Chicago of sex crimes involving children. Prosecutors argued that Kelly posed an “extreme danger” to the community.
“We’re talking seventh- and eighth-grade girls,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Angel Krull said at that hearing Tuesday, according to the Tribune. “And it didn’t happen once or twice. He sexually abused them hundreds of times before they turned 18.”
As the Tribune notes:
In all, Kelly was accused in the two federal indictments of abusing a dozen victims going back to the 1990s, and prosecutors believe there are “many more,” Krull said.
“The investigation is far from over,” she said.
Also on Friday, a former Kelly employee, Milton “June” Brown, pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance pending trial to charges of conspiring with Kelly and ex-Kelly manager Derrel McDavid to receive child pornography, according to the Tribune.
Prosecutors also charged Brown helped to fix Kelly’s 2008 child pornography trial in which he was acquitted.
Kelly and McDavid previously pleaded not guilty to the same charges.
Kelly also faces multiple Illinois state charges that he sexually assaulted or abused four women, three of whom were underage when the alleged attacks occurred.
Kelly has maintained his innocence of all charges.