R. Kelly says jail is not safe with the coronavirus spreading and he wants out.
The 53-year-old singer’s attorney filed court papers with a federal judge Thursday, requesting that his client be released from Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) while awaiting trial on sexual abuse, child pornography and obstruction of justice charges.
The 18-page brief cites poor jail conditions and says few precautions are being taken to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“The health risk to Mr. Kelly, because of his age and existing health issues, especially considering the conditions at the MCC, necessitates his release on bail,” the filing says.
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Kelly’s legal team describes the jail as an “ideal environment” for coronavirus to spread and says “medical care is limited.” The filing goes on to say the 700 inmates in the MCC are usually held in small, two men cells that make social distancing a problem.
If granted bail, the “Ignition” singer would live with girlfriend Joycelyn Savage at a Chicago loft and could remain on home confinement with an electronic monitoring device, the filing says.
Kelly’s trial date in Chicago had been set for April 27, but was moved to Oct. 13 as new charges continued to pile up against the “Ignition” singer. Kelly also faces charges in New York and Minnesota.
The Grammy-winning performer has been in jail since July. He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.