A federal judge denied R. Kelly's request to be released from prison due to threats of the Coronavirus pandemic.
On March 26, Kelly's attorney requested that his client be released on bail, on grounds that he is currently at risk of contracting the highly-contagious Coronavirus while in prison. This request was made after the Bureau of Prisons suspended legal and social visits to prisons to prevent outbreaks at their facilities.
There are no COVID-19 cases at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago where Kelly is currently imprisoned.
R. Kelly with his legal team at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on June 6, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois | Source: Getty Images/GlobalImagesUkraine
Unfortunately for his legal team, US District Judge Ann Donnelly of the Eastern District of New York was not pleased over the request. The judge is currently presiding over two federal cases against the singer, and she rejected his plea for bail.
Kelly is currently being held without bail as he awaits trial on numerous sex offenses. While he ultimately denied these accusations, he is facing charges in Illinois and New York.
Currently, there are no COVID-19 cases at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, where Kelly is currently imprisoned. However, the measures put in place are allegedly making it difficult for him to prepare for his upcoming New York trial, which is set for July 7.
However, it is unlikely to begin on time given the pandemic. Likewise, Kelly has been able to speak to his attorneys through telephone, the most recent being on March 18. Unfortunately for him, the judge believes he is a flight risk and a danger to the community, which is why he is not being given bail.
"The defendant is currently in custody because of the risks that he will flee or attempt to obstruct, threaten, or intimidate prospective witnesses."
Kelly currently faces charges in New York for racketeering and violations of the Mann Act, which prohibits sex trafficking. In Illinois, he was charged with child pornography and other sex crimes.
The two indictments come from 22 federal charges involving 11 victims, some of them i underaged between 1994 and 2018. The singer pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
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