R. Kelly Denied Sixth Attempt At Release Due To COVID-19

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LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 30: R. Kelly performs onstage during R. Kelly, New Edition and The Jacksons at the 2013 BET Experience at Staples Center on June 30, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.

R. Kelly was denied his sixth attempt at being released on bail before his trial. The decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday stated that prosecutors presented sufficient evidence that Kelly is a potential danger to society and presents a flight risk.

Kelly faces state and federal charges in three states — Illinois, Minnesota, and New York — ranging from child pornography to sexual assault to operating a racketeering scheme supplying him with girls. The singer has denied the allegations.

His attorneys asked for Kelly’s release from federal custody on the morning of Sept. 4, arguing that the singer has not been able to adequately prepare for his upcoming trial for nearly six months.

According to his attorneys, Kelly has not physically met with his attorneys since March, due to coronavirus concerns causing prisons to go into lockdown. The team says that because Kelly does not know how to read or write, Kelly can’t review important legal documents about his case, make notes, or “meaningfully” communicate with his legal team without meeting in-person, thus making him unable to prepare for the trial.

According to Tom Farinella, who argued Kelly’s bail appeal, Kelly can only communicate with attorneys through phone calls, which do not “possess the safeguards of confidentiality” needed to secure attorney-client privilege. “There’s an extraordinary amount of work that has to go into preparing,” he said.

This was the sixth time R. Kelly’s team tried to argue for the singer’s release since he was taken into custody in July 2019.

“We are again disappointed,” said Steve Greenberg, one of Kelly’s attorneys. “There seems to be a different set of criteria when it comes to R. Kelly,”

U.S Attorney’s Office for the Eastern of District of New York had no comment on the decision.

The singer’s trial was originally scheduled for late September but was delayed partly to account for the pandemic. For now, Kelly will remain behind bars until the trial date.