The judge ordered that the singer remain in custody pending his trial.
Kelly was charged last month in the Eastern District of New York in an indictment that also accused him of violating the Mann Act by coercing and transporting women and girls across state lines to engage in illegal sexual activity as far back as 1999.
The indictment details alleged incidents in four states: Illinois, Connecticut, California and New York. Five Jane Does are referenced throughout the document, including three minors.
The indictment also alleges Kelly, 52, exposed at least one person to a sexually transmitted disease without disclosing it.
Kelly has vehemently denied allegations of sexual misconduct in the past.
On Friday, prosecutor Elizabeth Geddes argued for Kelly to be denied bail, citing allegations he had committed obstruction crimes while out on bail during a 2002 case involving child pornography charges.
At that time, Geddes alleged, Kelly paid off and intimidated witnesses “such that they did not appear to testify.”
Defense attorney Doug Anton argued that Geddes’ claims were simply allegations and that Kelly always appeared in court.
Regardless, US District Magistrate Judge Steven Tiscione said he was “extremely troubled” by the allegations of obstruction.
The singer, who was already in custody in Illinois, landed at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport from Chicago on Thursday and was transferred to Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York, his attorney, Steve Greenberg, told CNN.
He appeared in court Friday sporting a full beard and wearing orange sneakers, an orange t-shirt and a navy, short-sleeved prison uniform. Flanked by his attorneys, the R&B singer occasionally glanced around and nodded at his supporters in the courtroom.
A handful of women gathered together in a prayer circle outside the courtroom shortly before Kelly’s arraignment. Some wore shirts that said, “Free R. Kelly,” and “Unmute R. Kelly.”
One of the women, 50-year-old Ruthie Castro of Pennsylvania, told CNN she believes the singer is innocent.
“I’ve always supported him for many years,” she said.
A judge in a second hearing Thursday afternoon scheduled Kelly’s next status conference in the case for October 2.
After court, Anton said Kelly was “irritated” by the denial of bail.
“Imagine that you’re an innocent person locked up in prison,” the defense attorney said. “I’d say irritated might be a good way to describe him. He’s not a happy person, but he understands the system, unfortunately.” (CNN)