Coronavirus

R. Kelly Asks for Jail Release, Citing Coronavirus Fears

R. Kelly
Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP via Getty Images

R. Kelly leaves the Leighton Criminal Court Building after a hearing on sexual abuse charges on May 7, 2019 in Chicago.

R. Kelly has made a pitch to be released from the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center on bond as he awaits his trial in Illinois federal court, citing a fear of contracting the rapidly spreading coronavirus.

In a motion obtained by Billboard, filed by his attorney Steven Greenberg on Thursday (March 26), it states that the encouraged social distancing from the CDC are "simply impossible" in the correctional facility's close quarters.

"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," it also states, mentioning that his legal team has been blocked from entering the facility due to the risk of exposure.

If released on bond as requested, the singer will live with his girlfriend Jocelyn Savage at a Chicago apartment complex. "He would submit to any conditions that this court saw fit, including home incarceration," the motion reads.

Greenberg also compares staying in the facility under the current conditions is "tantamount to making them drink poison."

Kelly faces several dozen counts of state and federal sexual misconduct charges in Illinois, Minnesota and New York, from sexual assault to heading a racketeering scheme aimed at supplying Kelly with girls. He was jailed in July and has been awaiting trial in a jail one block from the courthouse, where he attends pretrial hearings. He has participated in hearings in his New York case by video.

Rapper 6ix9ine, who is currently incarcerated in New York, made a request earlier this week for release due to coronavirus fears, but his motion was denied on Wednesday.


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