Award Banner
Award Banner

R. Kelly asking to be released from prison over coronavirus concerns

R. Kelly asking to be released from prison over coronavirus concerns
Singer Robert Kelly, known as R. Kelly, appears in a booking photo provided by the Chicago Police Department in Chicago, Illinois, US, on Feb 23, 2019.
PHOTO: Chicago Police Department

R. Kelly is currently being held without bail in a federal prison in Chicago, Illinois, after being arrested on several sex crime charges. But his legal team have filed paperwork to have him released because of the risk he might catch the coronavirus if he stays in the facility.

In papers filed in the US District Court in Chicago, his lawyers claim the 52-year-old singer is within the category of people described as high-risk by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and therefore should be allowed to self-isolate away from other prisoners.

The filing also claims that sanitiser and soap are scarce in the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where the majority of inmates are kept in small, two-person cells that make social distancing difficult.

Kelly's lawyers state: "The visitor's bathroom on the entry-level floor of the MCC frequently has no soap or paper towels available, which makes it difficult for individuals entering the facility to adequately clean their hands before visiting.

"The courts have long recognised that there is no greater necessity than keeping a defendant alive, no matter the charge."

A judge is yet to rule on the singer's motion, but according to the Chicago Tribune, prosecutors in New York have asked that he remain jailed.

Earlier this month, it was reported Kelly was having difficulty meeting with his legal team, as the Metropolitan Correctional Center had suspended visits for 30 days in an attempt to keep coronavirus at bay.

The I Believe I Can Fly hitmaker is facing multiple charges in various states, including Chicago and New York, for crimes including sex trafficking, racketeering, and child pornography. Kelly has maintained his innocence and denied all charges against him.

For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here.

This website is best viewed using the latest versions of web browsers.