An appeals court shot down R. Kelly’s latest bid for freedom Tuesday, ruling that a federal judge acted appropriately in denying the R&B singer’s repeated bail requests.
“We perceive no clear error in the district court’s determination,” wrote the three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals Second Circuit. “The government has demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence that Kelly presents a risk of danger to the community.”
In the decision, the panel affirmed U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly’s determination that the “I Believe I Can Fly” crooner is a flight risk.
Attorneys for Kelly, whose given name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, filed the appeal after Donnelly denied more than three bail applications in his Brooklyn sex-trafficking case.
The Grammy-Award winner’s lawyers have requested his release on several grounds — including that he can’t properly prepare for trial during the coronavirus-induced lockdowns of federal jails.
His attorney Steven Greenberg said he hasn’t had an in-person meeting with his client for six months.
“We’re tremendously disappointed,” Greenberg said of the court’s decision. “We believe that there’s a double standard applied to R. Kelly, that he absolutely should be released and that there is zero chance that he can have a fair trial if he is not.”