R. Kelly, who for the third time was denied a request to be released from jail due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this month, Kelly’s lawyers filed their third motion requesting he be released on bail, arguing he’d recently been diagnosed as prediabetic,and therefore was at greater risk of being infected with the corona virus while he is in federal lockup in Chicago, awaiting multiple trials on sex crime charges.
But U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly was not swayed, saying a diagnosis of prediabetes is a “relatively common and treatable condition.”
Donnelly also sided with prosecutors that Kelly remains a flight risk and a potential danger to the community. Kelly’s lawyers have argued the court could order him to be held on home confinement and electronic monitoring at his condo in the South Loop, and have noted that he attended every required court appearance in his previous child pornography case, which resulted in his acquittal in 2008.
Federal prosecutors, however, have noted a grand jury indicted Kelly on charges of paying hush money and intimidating witnesses in that case, and Donnelly agreed that is sufficient reason to hold Kelly in jail.
Kelly, 53, faces sex crime charges in four separate jurisdictions in Chicago, New York, and Minnesota.
The federal charges in New York accuse Kelly of using his fame to recruit young women and girls for illegal sexual activity. The racketeering case also accuses him of kidnapping, sexual exploitation of a child, and forced labor. Jury selection in that case is now scheduled to begin on Sept. 29.
Federal prosecutors in Chicago have charged him with videotaping himself having sex with underage girls, and paying hush money and intimidating witnesses to cover up his crimes. That trial is scheduled for October.
Cook County prosecutors have charged Kelly with multiple counts of sexual assault and sexual abuse against four women years ago. The first of those trials is scheduled for September.
Minnesota prosecutors have charged him with engaging in prostitution with an underage girl. No trial date has been set in that case.
It’s unclear if any of Kelly’s trials will be held as currently scheduled, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
If convicted of all the charges, Kelly could face the rest of his life in prison.