R. Kelly Briefly Goes Missing Before Being Denied Bail for Second Time at Hearing

FILE – In this Thursday, June 6, 2019, file photo, musician R. Kelly leaves the Leighton Criminal Court building, in Chicago. Kelly is due in a New York City court, Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, for an arraignment on charges he sexually abused women and girls. (AP Photo/Amr Alfiky, File)

R. Kelly pleaded not guilty Friday to charges he sexually exploited young women and girls who attended his concerts, appearing in a federal courtroom in Brooklyn packed with his supporters. For a second time, he was denied bail, according to the Associated Press.

Kelly was arraigned on a second federal indictment accusing him of being the leader of a “racketeering enterprise” that recruited women and girls for illegal sexual encounters with him, including transporting them across state lines.

The hearing was briefly delayed Friday after his lawyer in the New York case, Douglas Anton, said he was unable to meet with him after he arrived from Chicago on Thursday.

Anton complained in a letter to a federal magistrate late Thursday that he couldn’t find him. Anton said federal Bureau of Prison officials, who flew Kelly into a New Jersey airport on Thursday afternoon, were unhelpful in explaining where he was so that he could meet with his client before the hearing, according to the New York Post and NBC News.

NBC posted video of Kelly arriving at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport. Wearing a tan prison shirt and orange shoes, the R&B star had his hands cuffed in front of him and shuffled along the tarmac as an officer escorted him to a waiting pickup truck.

As of Friday morning, Kelly was in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn; as of Thursday night, prison records showed he was still in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago.

Kelly was represented at the hearing by Anton, a New Jersey-based lawyer who also is Kelly’s entertainment attorney. Anton argued Kelly should be released while awaiting trial so that he could better fight charges he dismissed as “groupie remorse.”

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SOURCE: USA Today, Maria Puente