R Kelly's lawyers want singer out of solitary confinement
Chicago - Lawyers for indicted superstar R Kelly filed a
motion Thursday for his immediate release from solitary confinement
at the federal jail in Chicago, where the singer has allegedly been
deprived of any contact with other inmates, TV access and outdoor
Kelly, 52, has been held in isolation at the Metropolitan
Correctional Center since July 11, when federal agents arrested him
on sexual misconduct charges while he was walking his dog outside his
home in the Trump Tower.
His lawyers allege the draconian conditions in the Loop high rise
jail's Special Housing Unit have unfairly punished Kelly even though
he has not been convicted of any of the allegations against him.
It has also seriously hampered his ability to prepare for trial, with
his legal team forced to meet with Kelly - who is kept in handcuffs -
in a cramped room with no table, just a small shelf with "not enough
space to put a piece of paper and have it lie flat," the motion
"Given that Mr Kelly is a pretrial detainee not yet convicted of any
crime, his current conditions ... violate the cruel and unusual
punishment standards of the Eighth Amendment," as well as other
constitutional safeguards to due process, his lawyers, Steve
Greenberg and Michael Leonard, wrote in the 14-page filing.
US District Judge Harry Leinenweber, who ordered Kelly held without
bond in July, is slated to take up the motion Wednesday.
Last month, the acting US marshal in Chicago told Leinenweber that
the restrictive confinement was for Kelly's own safety. He also said
Kelly had so far refused offers of a cellmate or to be moved to
But in their motion, Kelly's lawyers said Bureau of Prisons officials
have cited his celebrity status and the charges involving sexual
abuse of minors in refusing their requests to move him out of the
"The issue is that although he may be ready to go to general
population, for safety and security reasons, he many not be
appropriate for general population at this time because of his
offense and notoriety," one BOP official wrote in an email Monday to
Kelly's lawyers, according to the defense motion.
The email stated Kelly's status will "continue to be monitored and
reviewed." That notion was scoffed at by Kelly's attorneys as
"utterly nonsensical," since the conduct he's charged with and his
status as a celebrity aren't likely to change.
The 13-count federal indictment brought in Chicago alleged Kelly and
two of his associates fixed the R&B superstar's 2008 child
pornography trial in Cook County by paying off witnesses and victims
to change their stories.
The indictment also alleged Kelly, former manager Derrel McDavid, and
onetime employee Milton "June" Brown paid hundreds of thousands of
dollars to recover child sex tapes before they fell into the hands of
A separate federal indictment brought against Kelly alone in New York
accused the singer of racketeering conspiracy, alleging Kelly
identified underage girls attending his concerts and grooming them
for later sexual abuse.
Kelly is also charged in four separate indictments in Cook County
alleging he sexually assaulted one woman and sexually abused three
Kelly has pleaded not guilty to all charges.