Singer R Kelly has been ordered to remain in jail as he pleaded not guilty to a raft of federal charges accusing him of running a scheme to force women and girls to provide sex for himself and others.
- R Kelly's former staffers reportedly handed over sex tapes to investigators
- R Kelly faces new charges for sex trafficking
US District Judge Harry Leinenweber said the main reason he was denying Kelly bail was obstruction of justice charges, part of a multi-count indictment unveiled on Friday in Chicago and New York.
Wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and handcuffed at a hearing in federal court, R. Kelly entered his plea of not guilty and answered "yes, sir", to all of Leinenweber's questions on Tuesday.
He made no eye contact with supporters in the courtroom. Federal prosecutor Angel Kroll said Kelly should remain behind bars.
"Kelly is an extreme danger to the community, especially teenage girls," Kroll said.
"Detention is just the starting point."
Prosecutors brought 18 indictments against the Grammy award-winning R&B artist with allegations he preyed on teenagers and young women, forcing them into sexual acts.
Kelly and his entourage are accused of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, and using intimidation and threats to keep the girls and women under his control and buy their silence over two decades.
The singer's lawyer Steve Greenberg has said the charges stem from "decades-old" conduct and were already part of an existing Illinois sexual assault case or previous allegations of which Kelly was acquitted.