R. Kelly did not appear at his scheduled court hearing Wednesday in Chicago because he had a toenail infection, his attorney Steven Greenberg said. The disgraced R&B singer is in a walking boot after having his toenail removed and did not want anyone to step on his foot during his journey from the Metropolitan Correctional Center to the federal courthouse, Greenberg said.
Kelly, who is being held without bond in Chicago, is facing separate federal grand jury indictments in Illinois and New York, which allege he recruited women for sex, persuaded people to conceal that he had sexual contact with teenage girls and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars buying back videotapes that prosecutors say are incriminating.
Kelly has vehemently denied allegations of sexual misconduct.
The anticipated court appearance was part of a status hearing in his federal case in Illinois. The hearing was expected to deal with several issues, including Kelly's attorneys' requests for him to be released on bail, WBBM reported. Their next hearing will be February 13, 2020.
Greenberg also filed a motion to remove obstruction of justice charges against Kelly and Derrel McDavid, his former business partner. The government's reply is due Dec. 9, and a reply from the defense is due Dec. 27.
Wednesday's hearing wasn't the first court date Kelly has missed. An arrest warrant was issued for him last month after he failed to show up to a court appearance in Minnesota. The singer was unable to show because he was in jail in Chicago. He was charged in Minnesota in August for allegedly soliciting a 17-year-old girl to take off her clothes and dance for $200 back in 2001.
The bench warrant issued by the judge was a "formality," with prosecutors claiming that federal authorities were "not willing to give us access to him" amid his cases in Chicago and New York.
Kelly was arrested in early July on federal sex crime charges in Chicago, with expectations that he'd be transferred to New York.0comments
The heightened attention on Kelly follows the broadcast of the Lifetime documentary Surviving R. Kelly (which is available to stream on Netflix), leading to the allegations that he groomed underage girls and forced them to deal with years of sexual abuse.
"We’re talking seventh and eighth-grade girls,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Angel Krull said during Kelly's Chicago hearing following his arrest. “And it didn’t happen once or twice. He sexually abused them hundreds of times before they turned 18.”