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R. Kelly to be taken in custody to New York to face racketeering charges there

Jason Meisner, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Entertainment News

CHICAGO -- Indicted R&B singer R. Kelly has been ordered brought to New York in custody for his arraignment on sweeping racketeering charges alleging he systematically recruited young girls for sexual abuse at concerts across the country.

Kelly, who is being held without bond at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago's Loop, will be brought by the U.S. Marshals Service to the federal courthouse in Brooklyn for an Aug. 2 hearing, court records made public on Friday show.

The singer will then be returned to Chicago in time for a status hearing on Sept. 4 on a separate indictment at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse, according to the court records.

Also Friday, a former Kelly employee, Milton "June" Brown, pleaded not guilty before a federal magistrate judge in Chicago to a charge of conspiracy to receive child pornography.

The 13-count indictment alleged Brown and former manager Derrel McDavid conspired with Kelly to fix the superstar's 2008 child pornography trial in Cook County by paying off witnesses and victims to change their stories, The indictment also alleged they paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to recover child sex tapes before they got into the hands of prosecutors.

Both Kelly and McDavid previously pleaded not guilty to those charges.

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Brown, who lives in Las Vegas, turned himself in to authorities there after the indictment was unsealed last week, court records show. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison if convicted, prosecutors said.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Young Kim on Friday ordered Brown released on his own recognizance.

Meanwhile, the decision to bring Kelly to New York for arraignment comes three days after U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber ordered him detained pending trial.

In arguing that Kelly be denied bond, prosecutors noted he's facing the possibility of life in prison if convicted. The singer's history of sexual abuse, manipulation and obstruction of justice also make him an "extreme danger" to the community, prosecutors said.

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