R. Kelly filed a motion a couple of weeks ago to get temporarily released amid coronavirus concerns.
Judge Ann M. Donnelly announced on Tuesday afternoon that his request was denied. The singer also pointed out that he’s unable to meet with his attorneys because MCC Chicago suspended visiting hours in response to the pandemic.
The Judge explained her reason for denying the request in court documents obtained by Complex. “While I am sympathetic to the defendant’s understandable anxiety about COVID-19, he has not established compelling reasons warranting his release. At present, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the MCC in Chicago,” the judge wrote. The Bureau of Prisons has announced emergency measures to protect inmates and staff, including suspending all legal and social visits, suspending inmate facility transfers, making soap available to inmates, screening and testing inmates and staff, and modifying operations at detention facilities like the MCC to maximize social distancing.”
Donnelly also noted that the 53-year-old isn’t high-risk for the virus. Although R. Kelly had surgery while he was incarcerated “he does not explain how his surgical history places him at a higher risk of severe illness,” the judge writes.
More importantly, the judge thinks the disgraced singer is a flight risk. [Kelly] is currently in custody because of the risks that he will flee or attempt to obstruct, threaten or intimidate prospective witnesses. The defendant has not explained how those risks have changed.”
R. Kelly tried to argue that he won’t be well-prepared for trial if he can’t consult with his legal team but the judge assured that his trial will most likely be rescheduled.