Prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York successfully got a judge to deny bond for singer and accused sexual abuser Robert Sylvester Kelly. In doing so, they detailed his or his representatives’ alleged attempts to strong arm an victim into not suing him. From a Wednesday filing obtained by Law&Crime:
…in 2018, the defendant, or individuals acting on his behalf and under his control, sent a typewritten letter to a lawyer then representing Jane Doe #5, threatening to release compromising and potentially embarrassing photographs of Jane Doe #5 if she pursued her civil lawsuit against the defendant.
The defendant appears to concede that he was asked to sign, and did sign, a series of documents and that those documents may have included the letter to Jane Doe #5’s then-lawyer, but then denies any knowledge of the contents of that letter.
They said the letter was sent with pictures and screenshots of text messages between Kelly and Jane Doe #5. These were taken from the defendant’s phone, prosecutors said.
“The defendant cannot credibly deny his role in intimidating witnesses by claiming, self-servingly, that he could not have written the letter due to his allegedly limited reading and writing skills where he provided the material used to make the threats and signed his name to the accompanying documents,” prosecutors said.
All told, Kelly is charged in state and federal court for alleged abuse of women and girls. Either Kelly established an undue amount of control over their lives, or he sexually abused the minors, authorities said.
He has emphatically denied doing anything illegal when it came to his personal relationships with women.
His legal team has argued that he has untreated medical ailments that need to be addressed outside of jail. Kelly is not a flight risk, they argued.
Kelly’s lawyers said he is dead broke and bad with money. Greenberg said music streaming services have removed his albums and he’s unable to earn an income from touring.
— Molly Crane-Newman (@molcranenewman) October 2, 2019
Prosecutors said that Kelly has a real motivation to run based on a possible minimum 10-year prison sentence. The defendant was misleading about his desire for international travel, they said. Authorities argued that it’s misleading to say he has “almost no financial resources” because he’s still getting hundreds of thousands of dollars from his royalties from music.
“The government’s investigation has revealed that earlier this year, the defendant re-directed those royalties to the bank account of a childhood friend,” they said. “Regardless of where those funds are being held, however, they belong to the defendant and, at any time, the defendant can redirect those funds – and future royalty proceeds earned – to an account in his name.”
[Image via Antonio Perez – Pool/Getty Images]