Topline: Singer R. Kelly will remain in prison after a federal judge denied his bail demand Tuesday, which was submitted in March over fears of contracting the coronavirus behind bars, becoming the most current put behind bars public figure to have such a demand turned down.
- U. S. District Judge Ann Donnelly of Brooklyn, New York rejected Kelly’s request, citing his possible to be a flight risk, to frighten or otherwise interfere with witnesses in his case.
- Federal prosecutors said that prisons around the nation have actually taken steps to prevent transmission of the infection, and that an inmate’s “generalized threat” of capturing it does not validate their release, the Associated Press reported.
- Kelly is being held in Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center as he waits for trial on federal child pornography, obstruction of justice and racketeering charges in Illinois, New York and Minnesota; he denies ever abusing anyone and has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
- Kelly asked for release on bail March 26, claiming in a filing that he was worried he would contract the coronavirus in jail due to the lack of availability of soap.
- “Requiring people to live in a custodial prison setting is tantamount to making them beverage toxin,” Kelly’s legal representatives wrote in the filing, adding that the vocalist was in an at-risk group due to his age and existing, unnamed health conditions.
- According to the AP, three personnel members working in the Chicago prison have actually checked favorable for COVID-19, while zero prisoners have actually checked favorable.
News peg: Prisoners are considered particularly susceptible to the infection due to their close quarters. Lawyer General Bill Barr on March 26 directed federal jail officials to recognize medically jeopardized prisoners for home confinement. In city and county jails, coronavirus cases have been increasing (with over 330 inmates and staff detected) while almost 60 cases have actually been validated on the federal level.
Key background: Kelly joins founded guilty extortionist and previous celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti, along with founded guilty former Trump associate Michael Cohen in filing early release requests mentioning fears of coronavirus, both of which were rejected. Convicted sex culprit and comic Bill Cosby petitioned for early release, with his attorney pointing out his senior age and health issues as justification, but no decision has actually been made. Convicted Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff likewise made a similar demand, after asking for early release in February due to a terminal kidney condition. Rap artist Tekashi6ix9ine, however, was granted release to home confinement Thursday by the judge managing his case; the judge stated he would have ordered house confinement for the asthmatic rap artist, had he understood about the coronavirus in December.