Entertainment April 08, 2020 at 12:00 pm

Judge denies R. Kelly temporary release despite COVID-19 fears

Novieku Babatunde Adeola | Staff Writer

Novieku Babatunde Adeola April 08, 2020 at 12:00 pm

April 08, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Entertainment

R Kelly Prison_Photo: FRCN

Embattled musician, R. Kelly, has been denied an early bail release after U.S. District Judge, Ann Donnelly, said that he had demonstrated “no compelling reasons” for a temporary release and still remains a “flight risk”.

The ruling comes after Kelly’s lead attorney, Steve Greenberg, filed a motion seeking the release of his client on bail, claiming he is at risk of contracting COVID-19.

“While I am sympathetic to the defendant’s understandable anxiety about COVID-19, he has not established compelling reasons warranting his release,” ruled Judge Donnelly in the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn.

Judge Donnelly also questioned Greenberg’s concerns that 53-year-old Kelly falls under the “higher risk” category if he contracts the virus.

“Although the defendant has had a surgery during his incarceration, he does not explain how his surgical history places him at a higher risk of severe illness,” the judge continued, according to court documents.

Forbes reported that Kelly is being held in Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center as he awaits trial on federal child pornography, obstruction of justice and racketeering charges in Illinois, New York, and Minnesota. He, however, has denied all the charges and has pleaded not guilty to all.

While no inmate at the correctional facility has tested positive for the virus, three members of the working staff have reportedly tested positive.

R. Kelly joins a long list of convicted celebrities who have filed for temporary release because of coronavirus. Before him, celebrity attorney, Michael Avenatti, Michael Cohen, disgraced comedian Bill Cosby, and Ponzi schemer, Bernie Madoff have made similar requests, with all being denied.

Meanwhile, American rapper Tekashi69 has been released to home confinement.

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