Today, I will like to feed us a little insight on the life of famous US RnB singer, R. Kelly; details about his charges and crimes, arrest, conviction, and life in prison.
R. Kelly has been accused of sexual assault since the 1990s, but it wasn't until 2019 that the "I Believe I Can Fly Singer" was arrested and put behind bars.
According to the BBC, Kelly's dubious conduct started in 1994, when he married a 15-year-old Aaliyah at the age of 27. Tiffany Hawkins, who dated Kelly when she was 15, sued him in 1996, alleging "personal injury and emotional distress." Three more women sued the singer in the early 2000s, and he was charged with 21 counts of producing child pornography in 2002, followed by 12 more charges and an arrest in Florida. Kelly walked free due to a lack of evidence, and it wasn't until a 2017 Buzzfeed article accusing him of running a sex "cult" that more people started to come forward.
Following that, the Lifetime documentary Surviving R. Kelly was released, and Kelly was arrested in February 2019, according to Billboard. He was charged with ten counts of felony criminal sexual assault against four women (three of whom were minors) and released after posting $100,000 bail. Kelly was convicted again in July of that year, but this time there was no bail. He was imprisoned after being charged with 18 counts of "kidnapping, forced labour, child sexual abuse, child pornography creation, and obstruction of justice."
Here's how R. Kelly spends his time in prison.
R. Kelly's Arrest and Conviction
R. Kelly was arrested while walking his dog in Chicago on July 11, 2019, and was charged with a 13-count indictment that included allegations of "sexual abuse of minors, conspiracy to defraud the United States, bribery, and child pornography," according to ABC News.
Kelly was brought into a trial just a few weeks later, in August 2019. Despite Kelly's plea, Magistrate Judge Steven L. Tiscione refused to grant him bail and ordered him to be held pending trial.
R. Kelly spent the pandemic behind bars
According to CBS Minnesota, R. Kelly requested a federal judge to release him due to health issues in late March 2020, soon after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
However, their pleas went unanswered. Judge Ann M. Donnelly ruled in April that R. Kelly would remain in prison because he is "a flight risk and poses a danger to the community, especially prospective witnesses," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Claims of unfair treatment
R. Kelly's lawyers filed a petition for his release from solitary confinement in August 2019, arguing that the singer had "no meaningful interaction with other humans," that he spent "no time outside getting sunlight," and that he couldn't buy snacks while other inmates could.
Kelly's allegations of unfair treatment were quickly debunked by prosecutors, who claimed (via The Blast) that Kelly was not treated unfairly "Despite his initial reluctance, he has had a cellmate for quite some time. In fact, he's shared a cell with more than one person "They also added.
They said that as of September 2019, the "defendant had access to indoor recreation three days a week, but it was not on the rooftop," and that he had "seven social visits" and three purely social phone calls.
They went on to say that he "purchased items from the commissary, including snacks such as Snickers," and that "prison workers have taken measures to ensure [the] defendant's safety, and have treated him with dignity and respect as a result."
He was put in solitary confinement for his own safety
R. Kelly was put back in solitary confinement for his own protection in August 2020, according to TMZ, following an assault inside his cell. The prison management decided to put Kelly in solitary confinement. "That's the only place they can protect him," R. Kelly's lawyer told Page Six.
Did no one step in to help him while he was being assaulted?
In a new court filing in October 2020, R. Kelly's attorneys rehashed the August brawl in his cell, arguing (via CNN) that new footage showed no one "raised a finger" until Kelly's attacker was "far into beating" him. Claiming that "Mr. Kelly has suffered significant physical and psychological injuries," his lawyer argued that "an unresolved issue remains as to whether the prison personnel encouraged, and then allowed, a beating of Mr. Kelly to take place. That alone merits an evidentiary hearing."
Meanwhile, D. Szyhowski, a prison employee who broke up the clash, said the lawyers' statements were clearly false. When he discovered inmate Jeremiah Shane Farmer "punching inmate Kelly repeatedly in the head and torso," he acted quickly, he said. Farmer was ordered to "cease the abuse," and when he refused, Szyhowski used pepper spray to put an end to the attack.
R. Kelly said to be terrified and paranoid.
Another lawyer spoke out on behalf of her client, R. Kelly, after the assault in his cell, telling the Chicago Sun-Times that "fear and terror have left him petrified and paranoid."
COVID-19 wreaked havoc on his trial dates
"He's stuck in jail and can't get a trial because of the pressure of COVID-19 on the prison system; he can't have contact with the outside world; he lives in a tiny little cell in fear of his own safety; and he suffers from headaches from being beaten up physically," his lawyer lamented.
Prosecutors asked the court to delay his hearing, citing the challenge of keeping everybody safe given that they intended to call 50 witnesses, 12-13 of whom would have to fly in from out of state, including 8-9 from states on Chicago's coronavirus quarantine list.
This is a glimpse on what R. Kelly had going on prison after his numerous scandals while being a free man in the United States of America.
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