CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) – R. Kelly won’t get of Cook County Jail until early in the week because he’s relying on others to arrange for the $100,000 payment he needs to be released, the R&B singer’s attorney said.
Kelly was charged late last week with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse, and a judge in Chicago set his bond at $1 million. The 52-year-old recording artist must come up with 10 percent of that amount to post bail to be freed while awaiting trial.
R. Kelly 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."
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.
Greenberg said a judge will assign a trial judge to the case at a brief Monday morning court session that Kelly is expected to attend.
The attorney has vigorously denied his client has done anything illegal. He said in court Kelly is not as rich as some may suspect, despite his track record of having created hit songs.
Meantime, published reports say Kelly also faces child-support obligations and other expenses as his legal problems have intensified.
Kelly was slapped with the sexual-abuse charges -- allegedly involving four separate victims -- after a recent docuseries, “Surviving R. Kelly,” suggested the singer has mistreated women and underage girls and kept some of them in virtual captivity.