Grammy Award-winning singer, R. Kelly’s attorneys will ask for his release from prison when they go to an appeals court on Friday, September 4, arguing that the singer has been unable to prepare for his upcoming trial for nearly six months.
R.Kelly has not seen his attorneys in person since March when prisons went into lockdown.
He also isn’t allowed to have in-person legal visits due to coronavirus concerns, his attorney told newsmen.
His trial, slated to start at the end of September in federal court in Brooklyn, has been hampered due to the pandemic.
However, the lawyers said the singer can’t read or write, can’t review legal documents in his case, make notes, or “meaningfully” communicate with lawyers without in-person meetings.
“He has essentially been cut out of the discovery and preparation process,” attorney Tom Farinella wrote in a court filing.
Kelly’s legal team’s argument on Friday will be the sixth time he has contended for his release since he was taken into federal custody in July 2019.
His attorneys contend that being in federal prison puts Kelly at risk of developing severe complications from Coronavirus.
Kelly is facing charges in New York including racketeering and violations of the Mann Act, which prohibits trafficking for prostitution or sexual activity.
The charges Kelly’s faces stem from activity that allegedly took place over two decades in New York, Connecticut, Illinois, and California.
Similarly, he is also being indicted on federal charges in Illinois for child pornography and obstruction, as well as state charges of exacerbated criminal sexual abuse. He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.
Kelly’s attorney Farinella argues that Kelly’s only way of communicating with attorneys is through phone calls that do not “possess the safeguards of confidentiality” needed to have meaningful attorney-client privileged conversations.
Yet Prosecutors say releasing Kelly would be dangerous because he is a flight risk, a danger to the community and because he has a history of tampering with witnesses and jurors.
According to prosecutors, R.Kelly has access to money even though his defense team say he has “almost no liquid financial resources,”
But prosecutors negate that point of view saying say the singer has received over $200,000 in royalty proceeds in the first quarter of 2020 alone.
Furthermore, the prosecutors added that if Kelly is released to his home in Chicago, he’d be out of the jurisdiction of the Eastern District of New York which will make it legal for him to remove his electronic monitoring device.
Prosecutors believe if he removes the device or tampers with it, law enforcement’s response would not be instantaneous.
Prosecutors also asserted that people are wearing masks in public due to Coronavirus, Kelly could easily hide his face “thereby going unrecognized.”
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