R. Kelly denied request to be released from jail due to virus concerns
R. Kelly, an accused sex offender who was once recognized as one of R&B's most popular singers, was denied a request to be released from jail due to concerns related to coronavirus.
According to Variety, Kelly is being held at the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he is awaiting trial on racketeering, sexual misconduct and other charges in three jurisdictions. On March 26, his attorneys asked that he be released, citing his age and a recent surgery as risk factors that made him susceptible to a severe bout of the illness.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly denied the motion, stating that Kelly is a flight risk.
Though Kelly's attorneys argued that other defendants have been granted release due to the pandemic, the government noted that MCC Chicago inmates are given free soap and have the option to buy more soap from the commissary.
“Simply residing in MCC Chicago cannot be a basis for being released,” prosecutors wrote.
In harmony with this sentiment, Judge Donnelly decided that 53-year-old Kelly is not among the inmates most endangered by the disease.