R. Kelly Pleads With Judge For Release, Says Prison Is Too ‘Harsh’

R&B singer R. Kelly leaves the Leighton Criminal Courts Building following a hearing on June 26, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.
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R. Kelly pled with the judge over his federal case in the Eastern District of Illinois to be released from prison, saying that he promised not to tamper with any witnesses and that the conditions in prison were too “harsh” for him.

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, the R&B singer wants the court to reconsider its decision to deny him bail. Earlier this month, Kelly pled not guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault and was ordered to remain in prison in Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center until his trial.

Now, the embattled singer is asking the judge to reconsider, saying that he doesn’t have the money or support to leave the country that he used to have, and promising not to contact any of the witnesses in his pending trial.

Kelly’s legal team claims that the disgraced star is being subjected to difficult conditions in prison. Kelly is currently being held in a “Special Housing Unit” (SHU) in custody, and the situation is too challenging for him, according to his lawyers.

His team says “the conditions are harsh. He is always locked up. There is no daily shower, no day room, no television or radio, no contact with other inmates, no recreation, and phone privileges are severely restricted. While others have face-to-face visits, in the SHU they are not.”

His legal team also argued that Kelly has a perfect record of appearing in court when it was required for his previous case.

“Mr. Kelly presents no risk of flight. He is a lifelong resident of Illinois. Mr. Kelly never missed a single court date, from 2002 to 2008, on his previous case,” the court documents argue.

His lawyers argued that the court didn’t take into account the fact that the singer appeared “each and every day” for his trial, including the day it concluded.

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In return for being released, Kelly’s team says that he will wear an electronic GPS monitoring device, would avoid contact with minors, and would agree to limited access to the internet, all of which will “make it virtually impossible to attempt to contact any witnesses without being caught.”

Kelly has been facing increased legal trouble since the documentary Surviving R. Kelly detailed his reported abuses. Since then, multiple videos and witnesses have come forth, prompting federal and state law enforcement to press charges against the singer. He faces five counts in New York, in addition to the charges in Chicago.