R Kelly’s bail request amidst the coronavirus pandemic has been denied – he is currently holed up in Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Centre on charges that include sex trafficking, racketeering and child pornography.
He argued that he be freed from jail as the virus spreads across the US and also because of his age, plus the fact that the hernia surgery he did put him at high risk of catching the virus.
Brooklyn federal judge Ann Donnelly said in a ruling on Tuesday: “While I am sympathetic to the defendant’s understandable anxiety about COVID-19, he has not established compelling reasons warranting his release.”
In papers filed in US District Court in Chicago, his lawyers advance the argument that the Ignition hitmaker is within the category of people described as high-risk by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
They strongly push that he should be allowed to self-isolate away from other prisoners.
The filing also claims that sanitiser and soap are scarce in the Metropolitan Correctional Centre, where the majority of inmates are kept in small, two-person cells that make social distancing difficult.
The singer has been unable to meet with his lawyers because of the coronavirus outbreak.
His lawyers can’t see him to discuss his legal strategy because the Bureau of Prisons in Illinois has insisted jail staff are suspending visits for the next 30 days in an attempt to keep the respiratory illness at bay.