Federal prosecutors are denying claims that R. Kelly is in solitary confinement. Kelly’s lawyers filed a motion Thursday (Aug. 29) requesting the Chicago native’s “immediate release” from solitary. The filing alleges that Kelly is being starved of snacks and candy, “meaningful interaction” with others and access to sunlight, The Blast reports.
Meanwhile, prosecutors filed a motion Friday (Aug. 30), claiming that Kelly “has had more than one cellmate so far.” He is also being accused of seeking special treatment due to his celebrity status. According to The Chicago Tribune, Kelly was written up for refusing a cellmate, and is being housed in a special unit away from general population. Kelly previously refused transport and subsequently missed a court date earlier in the month.
Kelly’s lawyers are painting a different picture. The 52-year-old singer is currently jailed at Chicago’s downtown Metropolitan Correctional Center after being arrested by federal authorities in July. Kelly has since pleaded not guilty to more than a dozen federal charges involving child sex trafficking, and obstruction of justice.
“Instead of placing the Mr. Kelly one of several other floors available as an alternative to general population, the BOP (Bureau of Prisons) has placed Mr. Kelly where inmates go to be punished, on the facility’s most restrictive floor, with zero privileges. In essence, even though he has not violated a single BOP rule, Mr. Kelly is being unconstitutionally punished and segregated from the rest of the prison population,” the legal filing reportedly states.
The documents reiterate that Kelly has “extremely limited literacy,” which means everything has to be read to him. His lawyers go on to claim that there is no table during their meetings with Kelly, who is usually handcuffed.
Kelly reportedly wants more phone time, as he only gets one 15-minute phone call per month, in comparison to the 300 minutes allotted to other inmates. He is also looking to increase his shower time, which is currently limited to three showers per week. His lawyers argue that the treatment amounts to “cruel and unusual punishment” therefore violating the 8th Amendment, along with Kelly’s 6th Amendment right to “effective counsel” and due process. Kelly’s lawyers are also working to get him out on bail, a request which has already been denied once.
A judge is expected to rule on the latest motion sometime next week.