Kelly’s attorney, Douglas C. Anton, confirmed the attack to Billboard August 27. “This is unfortunately true,” he said. “Another inmate who had a locking problem got angry and just attacked Robert.
Anton said he was told the jail had been locked out because there were R Kelly protesters outside, but could not confirm the legitimacy of the complaint.
“I spoke to him and he’s not doing well,” he said Billboard. “He is not feeling right. This is even more the reason why he must be released. They cannot protect him in the establishment.
Another lawyer for Kelly, Steve Greenberg, took to Twitter to discuss the situation, saying his legal team had received few details about the incident.
In a follow-up tweet, Greenberg called for Kelly’s release.
Either way, it’s time to free Mr. Kelly. The government cannot ensure his safety and it cannot give him his day in court. We must not incarcerate people indefinitely because we cannot offer them due process!
– Steve Greenberg (@SGcrimlaw) 27 août 2020
The Federal Bureau of Prisons declined to comment CNN on the alleged attack. Spokesman Emery Nelson said: “For reasons of confidentiality, safety and security, we do not comment on the conditions of detention or the state of health of an inmate.
Kelly was taken into custody in early 2019 on 10 charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He was then arrested again in July of that year, with federal prosecutors charging him with 13 counts.
In April, Kelly’s attorneys filed a petition seeking his release on bail over fears he would catch coronavirus in prison. However, the appeal was dismissed.
“While I sympathize with the accused’s understandable anxiety over COVID-19, he has not established compelling reasons for his release,” wrote US District Judge Anne Donnelly.
It was his second bail appeal to be rejected that month.
In May, Kelly pleaded not guilty in New York to sex trafficking charges and several new allegations of abuse by an anonymous victim. He also faces charges in Illinois, where he is being held, as well as in Minnesota.
Kelly was set to be tried again in New York in July on racketeering and sex trafficking charges, but the hearing was postponed to September 29 due to coronavirus concerns.