R Kelly’s lawyer has asked that his client be released from the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center because of fears that COVID-19 is about to spread through America’s prison population.
In papers filed yesterday, attorney Steven Greenberg said Kelly would be happy to be released on a bond and then confined to his Chicago apartment as he awaits to face multiple criminal charges of sexual assault in multiple states.
According to Page Six, the US Bureau Of Prisons says that only ten inmates in American jails have so far tested positive for COVID-19 and none of them are in Chicago.
However, Greenberg says that there are inmates at Chicago MCC with flu-like symptoms who have been quarantined, and that a wider outbreak in the facility seems likely.
Greenberg’s legal filing adds that it will be “simply impossible” to implement social distancing measures at the jail. “No matter what steps they take the sanitation will be substandard, [so] the risk of an internal pandemic at the MCC is great”, it states “and if one does get sick jail healthcare is notoriously substandard”. To that end, forcing Kelly to await his trials in the prison is “tantamount to making [him] drink poison”.
If freed, Kelly would stay with his girlfriend Jocelyn Savage at his Chicago apartment. Greenberg says his client would submit to any house arrest conditions required by the court, though adds that – in the current climate – he’s unlikely to want to leave his home anyway.
Needless to say, Kelly is by no means the only inmate in the US prison system requesting to be let out because of COVID-19 fears.
And he’s not the only celebrity prisoner to have made such a request either. Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine – in jail in New York in relation to crimes committed as a member of the Nine Trey Bloods street gang – had his request for early release denied on Wednesday.