R. Kelly is once again asking a federal judge to let him out of jail on bond pending trial.
This time, he’s citing coronavirus fears and unsanitary conditions at the federal jail in Chicago.
His attorney, Steven Greenberg, filed a motion Thursday on his behalf. In it, he’s claiming that being penned up amid unsanitary conditions at the jail leaves Kelly at risk to contract COVID-19.
The disgraced singer says that the appropriate social distancing practices that have been recommended by U.S. health officials “are simply impossible” within the close quarters of the Metropolitan Correctional Center — Chicago’s high-rise federal jail where Kelly is currently being held without bond since his arrest on federal charges in July.
Kelly also claims that soap and hand sanitizer are hard to come by at the MCC. There’s a big bottle of hand sanitizer on the visiting floor, but it’s labeled “STAFF ONLY.” The bathroom on the same floor often has no soap. In fact, Kelly alleges that soap is only available to inmates who can afford to buy it for themselves from the commissary. By Kelly’s claims, it sounds like trying to detox from alcohol would be an easier task than washing his hands.
Kelly says that the “health risk” is too great, and “necessitates his release on bail.” Although the filing cites Kelly’s “age and existing health issues,” it never details what those health issues are. It just says that he’s within the category described as “high-risk” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
So far, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons has not reported any confirmed cases of coronavirus at the MCC. However, the 18-page motion claims that inmates who have reported “flu-like symptoms” are being quietly quarantined. It also claims that guards are not wearing any protective gear to prevent possible spread.
“No matter what steps they take, the sanitation will be substandard, the risk of an internal pandemic at the MCC is great,” the motion states. “And if one does get sick, jail healthcare is notoriously substandard.”
“Imagine how poor it will be given the overall lack of resources at even the best hospitals,” Greenberg’s motion continues. “Requiring people to reside in a custodial jail setting is tantamount to making them drink poison.”
If the judge decides to release him on bond, Kelly says he’ll be shacking up with girlfriend Joycelyn Savage.
Kelly’s also more than willing to wear electronic monitoring. He says it’s probably not necessary though, since he likely won’t be going outside at all during the pandemic.