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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Judge Denies R. Kelly’s 2nd Attempt to Get Released From Prison Because of COVID-19 Risk

R. Kelly in Prison

Nationwide — For the second time, a judge has ordered that R. Kelly should remain in prison despite his requests to be released on bail due to the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. District Judge Ann M. Donnelly acknowledged Kelly’s first claims that the conditions at the Metropolitan Correctional Center have worsened since the spread of the coronavirus. However, she noted that, based on provided evidence, the singer is not uniquely at risk to contract the virus.

Kelly then argued in his second attempt that he is not a flight risk as he said he showed up for scheduled court appearances. The judge still denied it as Kelly is facing additional charges for allegedly tampering with witnesses.

“Given the pandemic, where the judicial system’s oversight capabilities are curtailed, these measures simply are not viable — they cannot ensure that a defendant with a history, incentive and opportunity to interfere with potential witnesses will not do so,” Donnelly said.

Meanwhile, authorities said that an inmate on the same floor Kelly is jailed has recently been taken to the hospital due to COVID-19. The judge’s decision still did not change despite that.

Kelly has been in the Metropolitan Correctional Center before he faces trial on obstruction of justice, racketeering and child pornography charges in New York. He is also facing several sex crime charges in Chicago and Minnesota.