As the Corona Virus continues to reek havoc amongst worldwide communities, those in prisons and jails are especially at risk. With detainees living in close quarters and limited access to sanitary products, some governments are allowing certain inmates to go free. One such person asking to be released is R. Kelly, who is currently awaiting trials on multiple sex-crime charges in four jurisdictions across three states, including the Northern District in Illinois and Eastern District of New York.
Citing unhealthy conditions in jails and prisons around the country including the complex in which he’s housed (where 13 people have already tested positive for the virus), Kelly’s attorneys pleaded to get the Chicago native out but were ultimately unsuccessful.
U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly, who denied the singer’s first request earlier this month, ruled Tuesday (April 21st) that the embattled artist remains a flight risk and could possibly “intimidate prospective witnesses” if released. She further explained that “Even aside from the risk of flight, the risk that the defendant would try to obstruct justice or intimidate prospective witnesses has not dissipated, and poses a danger to the community.” Disappointed with the ruling, one of Kelly’s attorneys stated “The Government failed to come forward with any credible evidence, beyond conspiracy theories, that Mr. Kelly is a risk of flight … or a danger to the community.”
The whirlwind of media attention and charges racked up against R. Kelly stem from years of alleged abuse committed against under-aged women throughout the course of his career. These issues were brought to light in the controversial 2019 documentary Surviving R. Kelly.