R. Kelly has requested to be released from the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center over fears he could contract coronavirus.
The singer, who faces 18 federal counts, including child pornography, kidnapping and forced labour, is said to have filed a motion through his attorney Steven Greenberg, asking to be released from the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) on bond as he awaits his trial.
Kelly, real name Robert Sylvester Kelly, reportedly claims he can’t stay at Chicago MCC because he is ‘within the group of people the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has categorised as most-at-risk for contracting COVID-19′.
Complex reports it has seen court documents in which Greenberg refers to the Bail Reform Act, which allows for the ‘temporary release’ for those in pre-trial custody if it’s believed to be necessary ‘for preparation of the person’s defence or for another compelling reason’.
Greenberg reportedly goes on to say the coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for him to meet with his lawyers, and that Kelly’s age and recent surgery while behind bars mean he has more chance of contracting COVID-19.
He argued that Chicago MCC is not a safe place for Kelly to be during the pandemic, regardless of the steps taken by the institution to protect inmates from the illness.
The document allegedly reads:
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.
If his request to be released was approved, Kelly would apparently be taken to live at the Roosevelt Collection Lofts apartments, with one of his girlfriends, Joycelyn Savage.
R. Kelly’s plea is similar to that of Tekashi 6ix9ine, who asked to be released from prison on the grounds that he is asthmatic, and therefore particularly vulnerable to the virus.
The rapper, who is expected to be released July 31, was also diagnosed with bronchitis and sinusitis in October, as detailed in a letter by defence attorney Lance Lazarro.
US District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer, rejected a Lazarro’s request, commenting in a written order that he didn’t have legal authority to change the sentence, which prosecutors had pointed out when opposing the request.
Issuing his order, Judge Engelmayer said he ‘could not have known that the final four months of Mr. Hernandez’s sentence would be served at a time of a worldwide pandemic to which persons with asthma, like Mr. Hernandez, have heightened vulnerability’.
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Topics: News, Coronavirus, COVID-19, R Kelly