R. Kelly, the indicted singer who has been accused of sexually abusing underage girls, renewed a motion for release from federal jail in Chicago on Thursday over concerns of coronavirus spreading among inmates and staff members. The motion argues that an outbreak in the Metropolitan Correctional Center is likely to be far worse than reflected in officially reported numbers, according to the Chicago Tribune. So far, at least six inmates and seven staff members have tested positive for the virus. “Inmates are reportedly banging on doors, walls, and windows begging for help,” Michael Leonard, Kelly’s attorney, wrote in the motion. “The only thing the MCC has done is lock things down, making the situation feel more like solitary confinement and possibly, because of the nature of this virus, locking in healthy inmates with those who may already have the virus but who may not yet be symptomatic.”
The hearing is set to take place via phone on Thursday with U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly, who rejected the singer’s first motion to be released due to the coronavirus outbreak. Kelly faces nine charges in New York and 13 charges in Illinois related to the sexual abuse of minors and alleged rigging of his 2008 child pornography trial.