Besieged R & B singer R. Kelly was released on bail Wednesday in her New York City sex abuse cases, after a judge agrees with prosecutors, who would release him from prison would create a risk for him to flee or tamper with witnesses.

US District Judge Ann Donnelly refused a defense motion asking to release him from an obligation and to allow the house of detention. She established a May 18, date of her trial.

Kelly, 52, is not attending the hearing in federal court in Brooklyn. He remains behind bars in Chicago, pending a trial on charges related to the scheduled April 27th.

Kelly, whose full name is Robert Kelly, pleaded not guilty in August in New York, accusing him of using his notoriety to recruit young women and girls for the purpose of illegal sexual activity. The defense called the dissatisfied accusers groupies.

In court papers filed Monday, Kelly lawyers said he is so broke that he could not afford to flee. Studies have also complained that he is only able to receive prison visits from one of the two previous live girlfriends at a time.

“No other friends or co-workers are allowed to visit,” the papers said. ” It is not fair.”

The government responded with a memo calling Kelly claims of misleading poverty. He said he “continues to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties, he is due for his music. “

The memo also said prosecutors have evidence that Kelly last year threatened to “release compromising and potentially embarrassing photographs” of an unnamed victim unless she dropped a lawsuit against him.