R. Kelly has been denied a request to seek release from jail during the coronavirus outbreak. The disgraced singer’s attorneys filed a request for bond with the U.S. District Court in Chicago. Attorneys for Kelly claimed that because of his advanced age (53) he was at high risk of contracting and suffering severe symptoms of the coronavirus. Kelly’s attorneys also stated that hand sanitizer and soap are difficult to find at the present moment and that inmates are kept in small cells and are not practicing social distancing.
Nonetheless, the court rejected Kelly’s request and the embattled pop star is not elderly enough to be considered in the high-risk group. Kelly had also undergone a recent surgery for a hernia, but the court ruled that it did not place him in a substantially higher risk group than others. Lastly, federal authorities reported that the prison has enough soap and hand sanitizer for everyone. The final nail in the coffin was that there were no reports of the virus among inmates.
Prosecutors Cite Kelly as a Flight Risk
This is a situation that was sewn from the ground up by Kelly himself who is facing charges for witness tampering, making threats, and racketeering concerning his involvement with underaged women. Kelly reportedly attempted to silence witnesses in prior trials, giving the prosecution and the judge every reason to keep him locked up while his trial is still going on.
Prosecutors said that if Kelly were to be released, he posed a flight risk, could attempt to obstruct the criminal proceedings, or threaten or intimidate witnesses.
Prison Bans All Visitations
Making matters difficult for Kelly and his team of defense attorneys is the fact that the prison has banned all visitors from speaking to inmates. This, of course, is an attempt to prevent the virus from spreading into the prison, but it also has the unfortunate consequence of preventing Kelly’s attorney from speaking to him. This, his attorney claims, is making it more difficult to prepare for trial.
Meanwhile, all federal and civil lawsuits have been suspended as of May 29. This means that all court operations will be suspended indefinitely while America deals with the coronavirus pandemic.
Kelly faces charges here in Cook County, New York, and Minnesota. Charges range from sex trafficking, having sex with a minor, possession and creation of child pornography, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and there’s probably a few others that I forgot about. In other words, there is no way that Kelly would be a good candidate for temporary release.
His attorneys would still be able to file a continuance if the prison’s restriction of visitors negatively impacts their ability to try this case.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you have been charged with a serious crime in the Chicago area, call the Chicago criminal defense attorney David Freidberg at (312) 560-7100. We can prevent you from taking a bad plea or getting railroaded by a speculative prosecution and sloppy police work. Call today to learn more.