Chicago (tca/dpa) – Lawyers for R. Kelly have asked a federal judge in New York to reconsider his decision to hold the embattled R&B star without bond on sweeping racketeering charges filed there, arguing that the case against him is weak and that he poses no danger to the community
The 11-page motion filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn on Monday was the latest move in a long-shot bid for Kelly to be sprung from jail while he awaits trial in three different jurisdictions, for his alleged sexual abuse of underage girls.
The filing revealed for the first time that federal authorities searched Kelly’s home at Trump Tower in Chicago and seized his cell phone and computers, after his arrest in July on separate federal indictments filed here and in New York.
In asking that Kelly be held without bond, prosecutors in Brooklyn told a federal magistrate judge in July that the singer directed others to send threatening letters to potential witnesses warning them that they could be “subjected to physical harm” if they cooperated against him.
Kelly’s lawyer Steve Greenberg, though, said in his motion that there is no evidence substantiating those allegations – despite the seizure of Kelly’s electronics and a search of his condo.
“Surely, if the evidence existed it would be known,” Greenberg wrote. “To the extent the analysis of electronics is ongoing, it is not right to say, ‘Well we might find something, so keep him detained in case we do.'”
Greenberg also argued in the motion that although the singer has been moved out of solitary confinement at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago, he’s still being held under unfairly strict conditions.
Among the complaints: Only one of Kelly’s two former live-in girlfriends has been allowed to visit Kelly at a time
“Presently, he is only allowed one unrelated person to visit,” Greenberg said. “In other words, although he lives and has lived with two lady friends, only one of them is allowed to be on his visiting list, and after 90 days he is required to switch. No other friends or professional colleagues are allowed to visit. That is not right.”
As he has in the past, Greenberg blasted the cases against Kelly as weak and said the charges have “significant overlap”. He said Kelly has surrendered his passport, has “almost no financial resources” and has always shown up for court.
The motion is scheduled to be argued before U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly in Brooklyn on Wednesday.
Even if Kelly’s attorneys convince Donnelly to release Kelly on bond, however, he still faces a second no-bond order entered by U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber on the federal indictment in Chicago.
Greenberg has told Leinenweber that he plans to ask that Kelly be released on home confinement once the singer’s girlfriends find a suitable place to live.
Kelly, 52, was accused in a 13-count federal indictment brought in Chicago, of conspiring with two former employees to rig his 2008 child pornography trial in Cook County by paying off witnesses and victims to change their stories
The indictment also alleged Kelly, former manager Derrel McDavid and onetime employee Milton ‘June’ Brown paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to recover child sex tapes before they fell into the hands of prosecutors.
Leinenweber has set a tentative trial date in that case for April 27.
In New York, Kelly alone was indicted on a charge of racketeering conspiracy, alleging that he identified underage girls attending his concerts and groomed them for later sexual abuse.
Kelly is also charged in four separate indictments in Cook County alleging that he sexually assaulted one woman and sexually abused three minor girls.
Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Author: ANA Entertainment