Woman Who Bailed Out R. Kelly Wants Money Back

R Kelly
Musician R. Kelly departs from the Leighton Criminal Court building June 26, 2019 after a status hearing in his criminal sexual abuse trial in Chicago. Valencia Love posted $100,000 to secure Kelly's release from jail while awaiting trial but now that he's locked up on federal charges she wants her money back. Amr Alfiky/AP Photo
R Kelly
Musician R. Kelly departs from the Leighton Criminal Court building June 26, 2019 after a status hearing in his criminal sexual abuse trial in Chicago. Valencia Love posted $100,000 to secure Kelly's release from jail while awaiting trial but now that he's locked up on federal charges she wants her money back. Amr Alfiky/AP Photo

Woman Who Bailed Out R. Kelly Wants Money Back

When singer R. Kelly was arrested earlier this year on sex abuse charges, south suburban restaurateur Valencia Love paid his $100,000 bail to get him out of the Cook County jail.

Then, a few months later, Kelly was arrested on federal charges out of New York and Chicago, and ordered held in federal detention where he remains awaiting his trials in those courts.

It led an attorney for Love to ask a Cook County judge on Tuesday to give her back her money.

“There’s been a substantial change in circumstances,” attorney John Collins told Cook County Judge Lawrence Flood. “She didn’t know that New York was gonna indict, she didn’t know that Minnesota was gonna indict. She didn’t know that Northern District of Illinois was gonna indict.”

Part of Love’s concern, as voiced by Collins, is that her bail money could end up going to pay Kelly’s court costs or attorney fees at the end of his trial.

Flood rejected Love’s request, saying it runs counter to the law.

“There’s a certain risk that a surety has in signing a bond slip on behalf of someone in custody. She took that risk,” Flood said.

The decision means Love will have to wait to get her money until Kelly’s court proceedings in Cook County are concluded.

Flood also on Tuesday rejected an effort by Cook County prosecutors to raise Kelly’s bail. The request came despite the fact that Kelly is being held without bond in the federal jail in downtown Chicago.

“At this particular point it’s kind of a moot point,” Flood said.

Flood said, with some mirth in his voice, that if Kelly’s attorneys manage to convince both the federal judge in New York and the federal judge in Chicago to release him from custody, then prosecutors could revisit the issue of Kelly’s bond in Cook County.

In total, Kelly is facing 38 criminal charges against him in four separate jurisdictions, mostly involving his alleged sexual abuse of underage girls. He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

Patrick Smith is a reporter on WBEZ’s Criminal Justice desk. Follow him @pksmid.