R. Kelly‘s most recent request to be released from jail over fears that he might contract the coronavirus has been denied, CBS News reports. It’s the third time Kelly has asked for release for this reason and also the third time he’s been denied.
Kelly, 51, is currently behind bars at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago, where he’s being held while he awaits trial for sex crimes allegedly committed in that city, as well as in New York and Minnesota.
The singer, through his attorney, has repeatedly claimed that he’s at risk of being exposed to the novel coronavirus inside. Further, as Billboard reports, Kelly has been diagnosed as prediabetic, and his legal team claims that this puts him at risk of developing complications from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus. People who are older, or who have underlying health conditions such as diabetes, are at greater risk of serious complications from the illness.
There have been positive cases of coronavirus at the facility where Kelly is being housed. According to the Bureau of Prisons, the Chicago facility has 18 confirmed active COVID-19 cases among inmates and 14 among jail staff; 122 inmates and 16 staff have recovered from the virus.
Unfortunately for Kelly, Judge Ann Donnelly ruled that she’s not convinced that Kelly’s purported medical issues mean he should be allowed out of the prison.
“I do not agree that a diagnosis of prediabetes presents a compelling reason for the defendant’s release,” she wrote in her decision, noting that one in three Americans are either diabetic or prediabetic.
She also reviewed Kelly’s medical records and noted that he is getting regular visits from prison medical staff, who are working with him on making lifestyle changes that would help him manage his condition.
“Those recommendations include diet, weight loss and exercise,” Donnelly wrote.
In a statement, Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg said that Donnelly made the wrong decision, and he vowed to continue to work on getting his client released.
“Once again we strongly disagree. We are going to explore the court’s ruling,” he said.
He also suggested that the Bureau of Prisons could be misrepresenting the number of COVID-19 cases inside the Chicago facility.
In Kelly’s most recent plea for release prior to this week’s request, as reported at the time by The Inquisitr, the singer claimed that he’s not a flight risk because of his purported $1.88 million tax debt.