CHICAGO (CBS) — Embattled singer R. Kelly has been moved to solitary confinement for his own protection, after he was attacked by another inmate, his attorneys said.
Defense attorneys Tom Farinella and Doug Anton told CNN that Kelly is now in the special housing unit at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Another Wave Of Downpours Coming Early Friday Morning
Earlier this week, defense attorney Steve Greenberg tweeted he was informed Wednesday that another inmate attacked Kelly in jail.
“We received conflicting reports as to the extent of his injuries. We have not been provided any information from the jail, nor has Mr. Kelly called. We are hopeful that he was not seriously injured,” Greenberg wrote.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons has declined to confirm or deny the attack on Kelly.
In another tweet, Greenberg said “it is time to release Mr. Kelly” because of the attack.
“The government cannot ensure his safety, and they cannot give him his day in court. We should not incarcerate people indefinitely because we cannot provide them with due process!” he wrote.
Kelly’s attorneys said they are working to get him moved back into general population.
“He does not want to be in the (Special Housing Unit)” Anton said. “Although locked up and separated, the assailant who assaulted him is only several cells away from him and continues to loudly exclaimed his anger towards Robert’s protesters, who he blames for the lockdown and this incident, because Robert’s supporters allegedly caused the facility to go on lockdown, and this angered this inmate’s delicate sensibilities,” Anton said.READ MORE: Frank Pietrangelo, Hero Of 1991 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Says He Was Among Those Sexually Abused By Hockey Coach Tom 'Chico' Adrahtas
For months, Greenberg has unsuccessfully tried to convince the federal courts to release Kelly on home confinement and electronic monitoring, arguing he is diabetic and at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 behind bars. But a federal judge has repeatedly denied Greenberg’s requests to grant Kelly bail, and Greenberg has since taken his bid to a federal appeals court.
Kelly faces sex crime charges in four separate jurisdictions in Chicago, New York, and Minnesota.
Federal charges in New York accuse Kelly of using his fame to recruit young women and girls for illegal sexual activity. The racketeering case also accuses him of kidnapping, sexual exploitation of a child, and forced labor. Jury selection in that case had been scheduled to begin on Sept. 29, but the trial date has since been postponed indefinitely, due in large part to the pandemic.
Federal prosecutors in Chicago have charged him with videotaping himself having sex with underage girls, and paying hush money and intimidating witnesses to cover up his crimes. That trial had been scheduled for October, but also has been postponed indefinitely.
Cook County prosecutors have charged Kelly with multiple counts of sexual assault and sexual abuse against four women years ago. The first of those trials is scheduled for September, but it’s unclear if it will move forward at that time.
Minnesota prosecutors have charged him with engaging in prostitution with an underage girl. No trial date has been set in that case.
It’s unclear if any of Kelly’s trials will be held as currently scheduled, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
If convicted of all the charges, Kelly could face the rest of his life in prison.MORE NEWS: Shane Jason Woods Of Downstate Auburn, Illinois Charged In Jan. 6 Capitol Insurrection