For a second time in less than a month, R. Kelly has failed at convincing a judge to release him from federal custody amid the coronavirus outbreak. Kelly’s request was denied again, on grounds that he’s a potential flight risk.
“The risks associated with the defendant’s release have not changed,” U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly wrote in her decision on Wednesday (April 21), per USA Today. Donnelly added that Kelly “continued to downplay the risk that he might flee, citing his attendance record in connection with the 2002 state criminal charges against him.”
Donnelly also stated that Kelly “poses a danger to the community,” because he might try to “obstruct justice or intimidate prospective witnesses” in his sex crimes case.
One of Kelly’s lawyers reportedly claims that the federal government failed to provide “credible evidence” to back up the flight risk theory. Nonetheless, Kelly remains locked up at Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center until further notice.
Attorneys for the 53-year-old singer filed an emergency motion for release arguing that Kelly is in danger of catching COVID-19. At least six MCC inmates have tested positive for the deadly disease, including one inmate housed on the same floor as Kelly.
The Chicago native was indicted on a number of charges, including sex trafficking, sexual abuse, and child pornography.