Kelly is being held at the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he is awaiting trial for racketeering, sexual misconduct and other charges in three jurisdictions. On March 26, his lawyers asked for his release, citing his age, 53, and recent surgery as risk factors that made him susceptible to a severe attack.
On Tuesday, US district judge Ann Donnelly denied the request, saying there was still a risk of absconding.
“The accused is currently in detention due to the risk of fleeing or trying to obstruct, threaten or intimidate potential witnesses,” wrote Donnelly. “The defendant did not explain how these risks changed. “
Kelly’s lawyers had asked that he be placed in house arrest in the Roosevelt Collections Loft apartment complex in Chicago. Lawyers also complained that new prison restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19 did not allow them to meet Kelly and prepare for trial.
Kelly’s lawyers, Steve Greenberg and Tom Farinella, also cited a long list of other defendants who were released due to the pandemic.
“It is not a request to open the doors and allow all detainees to leave, it is a specific request for a specific detainee,” they argued.
In opposition, the government noted that Chicago MCC inmates were offered free soap and were able to buy more soap from the commissioner.
“The mere fact of living at MCC Chicago cannot be grounds for release,” the prosecutor wrote.