Singer R. Kelly‘s second attempt to use the COVID-19 pandemic to get an early release from prison has been denied.
US District Judge Ann Donnelly denied Kelly’s request to be released from Metropolitan Corrections Center (MCC) in Chicago, where he is currently.
The federal judge acknowledged that the virus had spread to the facility but emphasized that the singer’s bond did not give enough evidence to show that Kelly was particularly at risk of contracting the disease.
Kelly’s lawyer had said that if the artist was released to an apartment in Chicago where his girlfriend Jocelyn Savage resides, he would not be a flight risk because he would be monitored via GPS and surveillance.
Judge Donnelly however didn’t buy Kelly’s lawyer’s argument as he is facing serious charges, which include tampering with witnesses.
The facility in which Kelly is being held has about 700 inmates, and 23 of them tested positive a two days ago.
R. Kelly has been in custody since July 2019, where he has been awaiting trial on several dozen counts of state and federal sexual misconduct charges in Illinois, Minnesota and New York.
The charges against the 53-year-old range from sexual assault to heading a racketeering scheme aimed at supplying him with girls. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Kelly’s first appeal for release had been denied by Judge Donnelly last week Tuesday, citing him as a flight risk.
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