After several weeks in solitary confinement in a Chicago prison, embattled music star, R. Kelly has been moved to general population.
The singer was reportedly transferred out of a solitary housing unit on Tuesday, September 3, following an emergency motion from his attorneys saying he had been unfairly treated behind bars because he was a celebrity.
His attorney, Steven Greenberg alleged that the singer was only placed in solitary confinement by prison officials as a form of punishment.
R.Kelly’s transfer sparked an irate letter from Chicago prosecutors, who claimed the R&B legend wanted to be in solitary confinement in the first place.
“Defendant stated that the MCC staff told him that he could ‘try it [general population] in a couple of days to see what it looked like but they can’t guarantee nothing,” prosecutors wrote, quoting from a recorded phone call Kelly made on July 19 from Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he’s awaiting trial on child porn charges.
The musician was reported to have expressed fear during the call, saying: “You know, and that’s why, I was like, hmmm, too many people up on you and I done seen too many movies, you know.”
Prosecutors said prison officials planned for a safe move the moment Kelly first asked to leave solitary on August 19.
“MCC staff did not deny the request, but rather started to review the general population housing options. In fact, MCC staff took steps to ensure a safe transition to general population by initiating a threat assessment to determine if there were any safety or security concerns with housing defendant in general population,” the filing reads.
But Kelly’s lawyer, Greenberg maintains that his client had no “meaningful interaction” with humans.
“Once prison officials could assure his safety it was time to move him,” Greenberg said. “He has been a model inmate and should be treated with an appropriate level of respect and privilege, not as if he has misbehaved.”
Greenberg said security measures have been put in place to ensure his client is safe while in general population.
R. Kelly will now be allowed 10 non-attorney visits instead of the previously allowed one. He’ll also have a longer leash for phone calls and emails. Also, the singer will now be able to go out into the yard with other prisoners during rec time.
Kelly, 52, is facing four sex crimes charges involving minors in three different states, including federal indictments in Illinois and Brooklyn.