CHICAGO — A federal detainee with “f--- the feds” tattooed on his face got into R. Kelly’s cell while the singer was sleeping and stomped on his head repeatedly, according to a court filing from Kelly’s attorneys that once again argues for his release.
General population is not safe for Kelly, his attorneys argue, and thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic there is little chance he goes to trial anytime soon.
“Only in a Third World nation could somebody be held, indefinitely, without the possibility of going to trial. It is un-American. It is illegal,” his attorney Steven Greenberg wrote. “If Mr. Kelly cannot be provided with a trial, at a minimum he should be able to await that trial in a less restrictive environment.”
Kelly, 53, faces two federal indictments in two states on charges related to sexual abuse. He has been held without bond since his arrest in July 2019. Federal prosecutors in Chicago accuse him of conspiring to rig his 2008 child pornography trial in Cook County by paying off witnesses and victims to change their stories. The indictment also alleged Kelly and his co-defendants paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to recover child sex tapes before they fell into the hands of prosecutors.
In addition, the longtime R&B superstar faces racketeering conspiracy charges in U.S. District Court in New York alleging he identified underage girls attending his concerts and groomed them for later sexual abuse.
Kelly’s supporters have sometimes demonstrated in front of the downtown jail where Kelly is being held, Greenberg said, and when that occurs the facility goes on lockdown — making Kelly’s fellow inmates angry at him, he argues in the filing.
Kelly’s attorneys have repeatedly argued for his release on bond and been repeatedly rejected. Even if a judge in Chicago granted the most recent request, Kelly has also been ordered held without bond on the charges in New York, so he would still remain in custody pending an appeal before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Kelly also faces charges of sexual abuse and sexual assault in Cook County, and charges in Minnesota related to solicitation.
He has repeatedly denied all the accusations against him.
©2020 Chicago Tribune