Attorneys for abuse defendant Robert Sylvester Kelly are asking an Illinois federal judge to let their client out of jail because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). They cite his age (53) and “existing health issues” as to why he can’t stay behind bars.
“For health reasons people are supposed to remain at a ‘social distance’ which the experts have defined as at least six feet,” the defense wrote (h/t Associated Press). “They are supposed to avoid interaction. These are the basic steps to try and not become infected. These basic steps are simply impossible in a jail setting. No matter what steps they take the sanitation will be substandard, the risk of an internal pandemic at the MCC is great, and if one does get sick jail healthcare is notoriously substandard.”
Attorney Steven Greenberg previously cited health problems in his attempt to get Kelly out of lockup.
Records show that Kelly remains at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago. He is charged in federal and state courts in Illinois and New York for a slew of counts. Prosecutors claim he was a prolific abuser of women and girls. The defendant and Greenberg have denied allegations.
Kelly, who made his name as an R&B singer, sat down for an infamous interview with CBS’s Gayle King in March 2019. He insisted he never did anything illegal when it came to women. Nonetheless, a judge has since ordered him detained without bail after prosecutors said he was a danger to the community. The defendant went to great lengths to cover up his illegal behavior, authorities have said.
The defense team said that if he were released from jail, he would stay at a Chicago apartment complex with Joycelyn Savage. (She previously stepped forward as one of Kelly’s girlfriends.)
The request for release is part of boarder pattern in which inmates (whether convicted or not) want to be released from custody because of COVID-19. The consensus is that it’s going to be highly difficult, at best, to squelch an outbreak inside the confines of a detention facility.
NJ just took decisive action & ordered release 1000 people from jail yesterday: Those held on technical (non-criminal) probation violations & those serving less than a year for lowlevel offenses. The least every jurisdiction should be doing. A no brainer. https://t.co/N46PyFOrFD
— Scott Hechinger (@ScottHech) March 24, 2020
[Image via Antonio Perez – Pool via Getty Images]
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