Judge Denies R-Kelly’s Release Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

R-Kelly has pleaded not guilty on all charges, and had recently requested for release as he feared getting infected with COVID-19 in the prison. 

The Ignition singer has been in custody in Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago since he was indicted on child pornography, obstruction of justice and racketeering charges. R-Kelly has pleaded not guilty on all charges, and had recently requested for release as he feared getting infected with COVID-19 in the prison.

Judge Ann Donnelly taking her oath as a Federal Judge

U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly of Brooklyn, however, denied his request. In her statement, she said that he is currently in custody because there are risks of him fleeing or attempting to obstruct, threaten or intimidate prospective witnesses. She further stated that the defendant, R-Kelly, had not explained how the risks have changed from before.

While 3 members of the staff at R-Kelly’s lock up have tested positive for COVID-19, none of the inmates have been infected. There have been reported cases in facilities that are nearby the singer’s lock up, as well as other jails and prisons in the country. R-Kelly’s lawyer had thus filed a motion in March to release the singer as people in facilities were in danger of contracting COVID-19.

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn claimed that Chicago lockup along with other federal facilities have taken steps to prevent the virus from spreading. In addition to this, they wrote that a “generalised risk” that an inmate, regardless of whether they are a celebrity like R-Kelly, could get infected by COVID-19 doesn’t justify their release.

Details about the Charges Against R-Kelly

R Kelly had 'sex trainer' who taught his victims how to please him ...The singer faces several dozen counts of state and federal sexual misconduct charges in Illinois, Minnesota and New York. These go from sexual assault to heading a racketeering scheme aimed at supplying himself with girls.

Kelly is facing 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving four women over roughly a 10-year period that started in the late 1990s. Three of the women were minors when the alleged abuse occurred. He was further charged by the Cook County prosecutors with four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, two counts of criminal sexual assault by force, two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against a victim who was at least age 13 and under 17 at the time.

Because of his lack of cooperation in the case and his possible attempts to hurt the witnesses, R-Kelly was denied early release in the COVID-19 pandemic.

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