R. Kelly’s Bid For Early Jail Release Due To Pandemic Denied
Rapper R. Kelly’s appeal for early release from jail in view of the current health crisis has been denied by a judge.
Kelly requested his early release last month after claiming he was ‘high risk’, but US District Judge Ann Donnelly turned down Kelly’s request today, April 7.
The 53-year-old, who is currently being held at Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center, is awaiting trial for 18 federal charges, including child pornography, kidnapping and forced labour in several different states.
The judge argued the point that the rapper is 12 years younger than those considered at high risk and therefore denied his request, alongside other reasons that included he is still considered a flight risk.
The judge also pointed out the Bureau of Prisons is actively trying to prevent the spread of the virus by taking actions such as suspending all social visits and suspending inmate facility transfers.
In the denial, Judge Donnelly wrote:
The defendant 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. While I am sympathetic to the defendant’s understandable anxiety [in light of the health crisis], he has not established compelling reasons warranting his release.
In the document requesting his early release, Kelly reportedly wrote:
No matter what steps they take the sanitation will be substandard, the risk of an internal pandemic at the MCC is great, and if one does get sick jail healthcare is notoriously substandard.
This isn’t the first time the singer has tried to get out of prison early. Following his arrest, Kelly’s legal team tried to get him released on bail, which was also denied.
Kelly, who is pleading not guilty to all charges, and his defence team argued he should be released on bail because the singer was not a danger to the public, adding that the alleged offences took place more than a decade ago.
Denying the request, Assistant U.S. Attorney Angel Krull said:
If he was attracted in 1999 to middle school girls, he’s still attracted to middle school girls. It’s who the defendant is and that, your honor, makes him a danger today.
According to The Independent, prosecutors also alleged that Kelly had forcibly kept people under his control, intimidated witnesses, and bought their silence.
Despite his efforts, it doesn’t seem like the singer will be getting out of prison any time soon.
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