R. Kelly attorneys say he was attacked in jail, argue again for his release

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R. Kelly, center, appears at the Daley Center in Chicago on May 8, 2019, for a hearing in his child support case. - Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS

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.

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©2020 Chicago Tribune

Singer R. Kelly appears at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago on June 6, 2019, where he pleaded not guilty to new charges. - E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
R. Kelly's girlfriends Azriel Clary, left, and Joycelyn Savage, right, leave following Kelly's hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court building, Sept. 17, 2019. - Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
R. Kelly's attorney Steve Greenberg speaks to media following a hearing for his client R. Kelly at the Leighton Criminal Court building, Sept. 17, 2019. - Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
R. Kelly turns to exit during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court building, Sept. 17, 2019. - Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
R. Kelly appears during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on Sept. 17, 2019. - Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Singer R. Kelly, center, appears at a hearing before Judge Lawrence Flood at Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago on June 26, 2019. - E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
R. Kelly appears before Judge Lawrence Flood at a hearing at Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago on May 7, 2019. - E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
R. Kelly pleaded not guilty to a new indictment before Judge Lawrence Flood at Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago on June 6, 2019. - E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS