R. Kelly's request to take time off from prison because of concerns about his health from the coronavirus outbreak has been declined, Variety reports Tuesday.
Kelly is being held at the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he is pending trial in three jurisdictions against racketeering, sexual misconduct and other charges.
On March 26, his lawyers asked to release him, citing his age, 53 and a recent surgery as risk factors that predisposed him to a serious attack of the disease.
Still, judge Ann Donelly rejected the request on Tuesday. "The suspect is currently in custody because of the risk that he could flee or attempt to hinder, threaten, or intimidate future witnesses," Donnelly wrote in the statement, Variety said. "The defendant has not explained how those risks have changed."
She added, according to The New York Post's Page Six, "While I understand the defendant's fear of the coronavirus, he has not identified compelling reasons justifying his release."