Embattled singer, R. Kelly failed to appear for a court hearing on Thursday, August 15, after prosecutors allege he “refused transport” from his Chicago jail cell.
The 52-year-old was arrested in Illinois last month on several charges including child pornography, coercion or enticement and transporting for prostitution after prosecutors in several states accused him of using his fame to recruit young women and girls into illegal sexual activity.
He was supposed to appear in court on Thursday, but prosecutors claimed he ‘refused transport.’
At the hearing which proceeded without him, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Gonzalez said: “The defendant was to be brought to court today. That was all worked out. The sheriffs were going to be bringing him over.”
“As I understand it, he refused transport and so that is why the defendant is not before your honor today,” she continued.
But Kelly’s defense attorney, Steve Greenberg, denied the allegation, arguing instead that the singer failed to show because of transportation issues.
“I don’t want to discuss matters that I discussed with the U.S. Marshals Service in open court,” Greenberg told Flood, according to the report. “Suffice it to say, the Marshal Service says that moving Mr. Kelly is a large undertaking.”
Kelly faces 40 counts, including two state counts brought against him earlier this month in Minnesota, that carry a combined maximum prison sentence of more than 500 years. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges aside from the new ones. He has not been arraigned on the new charges.
The 21 charges he faces in Illinois accuse him of sexually abusing three girls and a woman over a roughly 10-year period starting in the late 1990s. The two Minnesota charges, prostitution, and solicitation, accuse him of inviting a 17-year-old girl to his hotel room in 2001 and paying her $200 to dance naked with him.
The 13 federal counts brought in Chicago accuse him of, among other things, filming himself having sex with underage girls and of paying off potential witnesses in his 2008 trial to get them to change their stories.
He is also accused of running a racketeering enterprise that arranged for girls to have sex him in New York.
The disgraced singer is due to appear for another status hearing on Sept. 17.