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R. Kelly’s request to be released from prison over Covid-19 concerns has officially been denied by a federal judge.
The 53-year-old disgraced R&B singer is currently held without bail in a federal prison in Chicago over several sex crime charges.
According to reports, his lawyers have described him as being in the ‘at risk’ category, due to having emergency hernia surgery back in January, which is why they have requested his release from the prison.
However, according to U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly of the Eastern District of New York, the singer is younger than the age group that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deem to be in the high-risk category.
She also pointed out that, due to his history, he could be “a flight risk or a danger to the community” if released on bail…
“While I am sympathetic to the defendant’s understandable anxiety about Covid-19, he has not established compelling reasons warranting his release,” U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly said.
“At present, there are no confirmed cases of Covid-19 at the MCC in Chicago.
“The Bureau of Prisons has announced emergency measures to protect inmates and staff, including suspending all legal and social visits, suspending inmate facility transfers, making soap available to inmates, screening and testing inmates and staff, and modifying operations at detention facilities like the MCC to maximize social distancing.”
The singer must, therefore, remain in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, Illinois, until further notice.
He is currently awaiting two federal trials for child pornography and sexual assault charges in Chicago; and racketeering, transportation to engage in illegal sexual activity, and coercion of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity charges in New York.
The New York trial is currently scheduled for July, while the Chicago trial is scheduled for October.
R. Kelly is expected to plead ‘not guilty’ to all charges.