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R. Kelly’s request to be temporarily released from prison due to the Coronavirus pandemic has been denied by Judge Ann M. Donnelly, on grounds that he is not among the inmates most endangered by the virus.

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“The defendant is currently in custody because of the risks that he will flee or attempt to obstruct, threaten or intimidate prospective witnesses,” Donnelly wrote. “The defendant has not explained how those risks have changed.”

On March 26, R. Kelly filed a motion through his attorney Steven Greenberg, asking for his release from the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center on bond, as he awaits his next trial later this year. He claimed that he could not remain at Chicago MCC, especially since he is “within the group of people the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has categorized as most-at-risk for contracting COVID-19.”

According to the Complex, Greenberg cited the Bail Reform Act, which allows for the “temporary release” of a person in pretrial custody if it’s deemed necessary “for preparation of the person’s defense or for another compelling reason.”

R. Jelly is currently being held at the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he is awaiting trial on racketeering, sexual misconduct and other charges in three jurisdictions.

By: Muyiwa Aguda

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