R. Kelly has been unsuccessful in attempting to secure a temporary release from prison due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Judge Anne Donnelly in New York denied his bail request and ruled the singer, who is facing multiple sexual abuse charges, must remain in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, Illinois.
Judge Donnelly said: “While I am sympathetic to the defendant’s understandable anxiety about COVID-19, he has not established compelling reasons warranting his release. At present, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the MCC in Chicago.”
“The defendant is fifty-three years old, twelve years younger than the cohort of ‘older adults’ defined by the CDC as high risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Although the defendant has had surgery during his incarceration, he does not explain how his surgical history places him at a higher risk of severe illness.”
The judge also added that R. Kelly is not suitable for release as he has not demonstrated he is not a flight risk or not a danger to the community, noting he is being hold in custody because of “the risks that he will flee or attempt to obstruct, threaten or intimidate prospective witnesses.”
If you have been affected by sexual abuse we encourage you to reach out to organisations that provide support, find a list of helplines via The Survivors Trust website.
Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Features Editor, follow him on Twitter