A judge has denied R. Kelly‘s third request for an early release from jail while awaiting trial on charges of sexually abusing young girls.
In his third attempt, the disgraced singer claimed he was at high risk of coronavirus because he is prediabetic. US District Judge Ann Donnelly, however, is not convinced that prediabetes presents a “compelling reason for the defendant’s release.”. In her decision on Friday, Judge Donnelly wrote:
“I do not agree that a diagnosis of prediabetes presents a compelling reason for the defendant’s release. While the CDC has identified diabetes as a risk factor for COVID-19, the same is not true for prediabetes, a condition that affects nearly one in three American adults.”
She said prison doctors were working ‘with him to implement lifestyle changes like a better diet and exercise, to ensure Kelly’s safety while incarcerated.’
The judge has noted that if released, R. Kelly might threaten or tamper with witnesses, as he is alleged to have done before his 2008 child pornography trial in Cook County, which ended in acquittal. And he is a flight risk due to the serious nature of the charges against him.
“The defendant is charged in Illinois and New York with extraordinarily serious crimes, for which he faces a long prison term if convicted. That prospect makes him a flight risk,” she wrote.
There are 49 inmates at Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center with confirmed COVID-19 infections, and 15 staffers, according to the Bureau of Prisons.
The R&B singer is charged in four separate cases, all alleging he sexually abused girls and young women going back several decades.
Kelly’s trial in Brooklyn, repeatedly delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, is now set for Sep. 29.