R Kelly is asking to be released from prison over coronavirus concerns.
The ‘Ignition‘ hitmaker is currently being held without bail in a federal prison in Chicago, Illinois, after being arrested on several sex crime charges, but his legal team have filed paperwork to have him released, because of the risk he might catch coronavirus – which is also known as COVID-19 – if he stays in the facility.
In papers filed in US District Court in Chicago, his lawyers claim the 52-year-old singer is within the category of people described as high-risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and therefore should be allowed to self-isolate away from other prisoners.
The filing also claims that sanitizer and soap are scarce in the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where the majority of inmates are kept in small, two-person cells that make social distancing difficult.
Kelly’s lawyers state: “The visitor’s bathroom on the entry-level floor of the MCC frequently has no soap or paper towels available, which makes it difficult for individuals entering the facility to adequately clean their hands before visiting.
“The courts have long recognized that there is no greater necessity than keeping a defendant alive, no matter the charge.”
A judge is yet to rule on the singer’s motion, but according to the Chicago Tribune, prosecutors in New York have asked that he remain jailed.
Earlier this month, it was reported Kelly was having difficulty meeting with his legal team, as the Metropolitan Correctional Center had suspended visits for 30 days in an attempt to keep coronavirus at bay.
The ‘I Believe I Can Fly‘ hitmaker is facing multiple charges in various states, including Chicago and New York, for crimes including sex trafficking, racketeering and child pornography.