American singer and songwriter, Robert Sylvester Kelly widely known as R. Kelly has been denied a release from jail after requesting to be freed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 53-year-old singer is currently being held at the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he is awaiting trial on racketeering, sexual misconduct and other charges in three jurisdictions.
According to CNN, Kelly’s attorneys had requested that the singer be on home confinement at the Roosevelt Collections apartment complex in Chicago, arguing that he is at risk of contracting coronavirus in prison.
The attorneys had also complained that the country’s new restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have made it impossible for them to meet with their client (Kelly) and prepare for trial.
According to legal documents, a judge in Chicago denied the motion, saying that the 53-year-old singer remains a flight risk.
The judge said: “that he is a flight risk and that he poses danger to the community, particularly to prospective witnesses. The defendant has not explained how those risks have changed.”
The judge also explained there are no confirmed cases of the virus at Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Chicago where the singer is currently in.
The singer had also argued that he is part of the COVID-19 at-risk group, but the judge said that Kelly is fifty-three years old, thus twelve years younger than the ‘older adults’ defined by the CDC to be at high risk to the virus.
Kelly also noted that he’s had surgery while in jail making him susceptible to the virus. The judge said, “he does not explain how his surgical history places him at a higher risk of severe illness. Moreover, officials in Chicago have advised the government that doctors have completed all treatment for the defendant’s recent operation.”