Hip Hop / News

R. Kelly Denied Coronavirus Prison Release

R. Kelly pic

R. Kelly will be in prison for the foreseeable future as Coronavirus has not proven to be a getting out of jail card.

With the vast number of charges hanging over R. Kelly’s head and not one, but two, trial dates approaching, the musician attempted to use the coronavirus outbreak to persuade the judge to let him be released. Prosecutors had opposed the request, according to reports, claiming that Kelly, who has been charged with child sexual exploitation, child pornography production, kidnapping, forced labor, and obstruction of justice, is a flight risk.

In an appeal to the judge, the “Sound of a Victory” singer expressed fears that he may contract COVID-19 which has already infected over 377,000 people. Kelly claimed that in spite of there being no cases at Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Centre, he is at risk of infection as social distancing is near impossible and only inmates with enough money can afford soap at the commissary.

The request was not entirely unheard of as Tekashi 6ix9ine’s lawyers also wrote to a judge asking for their client to serve the remainder of his sentence, until August 2nd, under house arrest. 6ix9ine’s appeal was granted based on the fact that he has asthma and is prone to respiratory infections.

Unlike, the “BEBE” rapper, Kelly was deemed to not be at risk. In a ruling denying the artist’s request, Judge Ann M. Donnelly stated, “While I am sympathetic to the defendant’s understandable anxiety about COVID-19, he has not established compelling reasons warranting his release,” according to Complex. The judge dismissed Kelly’s age, alleging that 53 is 12 years less than the high-risk category and also claiming that Kelly “does not explain how his surgical history places him at a higher risk of severe illness.”

Kelly’s denial now means that he will have to prep for his trial with his legal team over the phone as no visitors are allowed into the correctional facility.