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R Kelly moved to general inmate population as he faces sex abuse charges

Prosecutors say jailed singer R. Kelly has been moved into the general inmate population despite concern other inmates could try to hurt him because of his celebrity status and because he is accused of sexually assaulting minors.

A filing by Chicago federal prosecutors says jail personnel moved Kelly from a restrictive housing unit yesterday. His lawyers said last week Kelly had been in solitary confinement in the Chicago federal jail since July, calling it "cruel and unusual punishment."

But today's filing contends Kelly had cellmates while in the restrictive unit and that he himself asked to be kept from other inmates for fear of attack. Prosecutors quoted Kelly as saying in a jail phone call he'd seen "too many movies" about bad things happening to well-known inmates.

He faces sexual misconduct charges in Illinois, Minnesota and New York.

R. Kelly, centre, arrives at the Leighton Criminal Court building for an arraignment on sex-related felonies in Chicago. Source: Associated Press