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Appeals Court agrees that R&B singer R. Kelly should remain in prison

ByReiss Bowler

Sep 8, 2020

NEW YORK (AP) – R. Kelly may remain behind bars pending multiple trials of child pornography and other charges in three states, an appeals court in New York said Tuesday when a lawyer for the R&B singer attacked. another inmate on Kelly last month cited one reason why he should receive bail.

The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan upheld a decision by a federal judge in Brooklyn not to bail 53-year-old Kelly, who is in a federal prison in Chicago.

He faces state and federal charges in Illinois, Minnesota and New York ranging from sexual assault to leading an extortion scheme designed to provide him with girls.

The Grammy Award-winning singer has denied ever abusing anyone.

Prosecutors have said Kelly poses a threat to the community and a flight risk. The 2nd Circuit said prosecutors had proven both and that “no condition or combination of conditions could insure against those risks.” The appeals court said the lower court had also made no mistake in ruling that Kelly could not provide a “compelling reason” for temporary release.

Mike Leonard, one of Kelly’s attorneys, said the appeal ruling was “very disappointing and somewhat surprising,” because the appeals judges had understood during oral arguments that Kelly’s incarceration prevented him from adequately preparing for trial.

In a court filed in federal court in Chicago on Friday, Leonard wrote that Kelly suffered unspecified injuries when he was assaulted at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago by another inmate in late August.

The attorney also added a handwritten letter from the inmate to the court’s file for Kelly’s case, saying he immediately assaulted Kelly after meeting a mental health professional who yelled at him to return to their discussion, because the prisoner refused and attacked Kelly instead.

Leonard claimed the incident proved that federal prison cannot protect his client behind bars and should be bailed. A bail application is pending in Chicago, although the 2nd Circuit ruling would keep him behind bars even if he got bail in Illinois.

A notice for comment was left with the federal Bureau of Prisons. Thomas Farinella, another of Kelly’s attorneys, said that for Kelly, “The so-called maxim of the presumption of innocence appears to be a misnomer.”

He added, “We will continue to fight vigorously for Mr. Kelly’s justification.”

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