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R. Kelly Enters Not Guilty Plea, Held Without Bond During Federal Court for Arraignment

By Gary Trock

R. Kelly has arrived for the first of many court appearances after being charged with 18 federal crimes in the Northern District of Illinois.

The arraignment was set for 1 PM in the 19th floor courtroom of U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse.

Kelly's girlfriends, Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary were seen entering the courthouse moments before his arraignment began. They were joined by their attorney, Gloria Schmidt.

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Kelly has been locked up in Chicago’s downtown Metropolitan Correctional Center after he was arrested by Homeland Security agents and NYPD detectives while walking his dog outside of Trump Tower last Friday.

The R&B star is facing a maximum prison sentence of 195 years in Chicago for alleged crimes against 10 different victims.


He's already facing state charges that carry sentences of up to 30 years, as well as years more in New York where he has been hit with a separate indictment.

Communication devices have been banned from the hearing, but journalists are reporting the action from a designated overflow room.

According to Chicago Sun-Times reporter Sam Charles, Kelly was just led into the courtroom while wearing an orange jumpsuit.

During the arraignment, prosecutors made it clear Kelly is "an extreme danger to the community, especially to minor girls."

Officials also do not want Kelly to be given home confinement, telling the court, "The defendant can entice girls to his own doorstep, he doesn't have to leave his home to do that."

Kelly's attorney, Steve Greenberg, argued that his client wasn't a flight risk by citing one of his famous songs.

"Unlike his most famous song, 'I Believe I Can Fly,' Mr. Kelly doesn't like to fly," Greenberg announced.

Greenberg also claims Kelly is broke and has no money to flee the country. He claims Kelly only gets paid through concerts, and has not performed in a while.

In the end, Kelly was ordered held without bond. He entered a plea of not guilty.

Kelly's girlfriends issued a "no comment," after the hearing, even though they had previously announced a press conference.

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