CHICAGO, IL — R. Kelly, one of the best-selling music artists of all time, remained jailed over the weekend as confidants make arrangements to pay the $100,000 bail needed to free him as he awaits trial for aggravated sexual abuse, his lawyer said.
The 52-year-old R&B star had hoped to walk out of the 7,000-inmate Chicago jail, but defense attorney Steve Greenberg told The Associated Press in a phone interview Sunday that coordination of the payment is complicated. He added that Kelly could be released as early as Monday or Tuesday.
“He has to rely on others acting on his behalf,” Greenberg said. “And it’s just not that easy — because Kelly’s in jail.”
A judge on Saturday set bond at $1 million, requiring the Grammy Award-winning singer to pay 10 percent. Among the conditions of release is that Kelly has no contact with females younger than 18.
In arguing for bail within the singer’s ability to pay, Greenberg told the judge that Kelly wasn’t wealthy despite decades of success creating hit songs. The lawyer blamed mismanagement, bad contracts and other issues for his client’s financial woes.
Greenberg said he had braced for the possibility that bail could be higher than $1 million, but was pleased when Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. arrived at the amount he did.
There are multiple logistical issues that could have thwarted Kelly’s efforts to pay over the weekend, said Joseph Lopez, a criminal defense attorney in Chicago not connected to the Kelly case.
Bond can be paid by credit card, cash or check. Court officials must be able to talk to bank officials directly to confirm that an amount written on a check is covered, and that’s not possible when banks are closed, Lopez said.
Records on the Cook County sheriff’s website say Kelly is in Division 8 of the county jail, where the medical unit is located but also where inmates considered at risk from the general inmate population are held, Lopez said.
Kelly was charged in a grand jury indictment unsealed Friday with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving four victims, three of whom were minors.