In Brooklyn, New York, last year, Kelly was found guilty of federal offenses and received a 30-year jail term.
Kelly appealed his conviction for racketeering and sex trafficking in September 2021, according to records obtained by Pitchfork and confirmed by TMZ. His attorneys claim in the appeal that four jurors have now admitted to convicting him before the final decision, and at least two of them saw the docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly.” Additionally, they claim that several of the young females Kelly is accused of abusing were 18 when their sex encounters started, and that testimony from former coworkers and proof from earlier interactions should not have been admitted. Kelly requests a fresh trial or the cancellation of his previous conviction.
Kelly was found guilty in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York, in September 2021. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison in June of last year. This year, the sexual abuse charges against Kelly in Illinois were dropped. State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said that Kelly was given “extensive sentences” in his federal case in New York. In a separate federal child pornography case, he was also given a 20-year prison sentence. He will spend most of that time in prison at the same time as his 30-year sentence for sex trafficking in New York.
When asked about the appeal, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York didn’t have anything to say. However, pitchfork has also asked Jennifer Bonjean and Ashley B. Cohen, two of R. Kelly’s lawyers, for their thoughts.
R. Kelly blames biased jury and bad evidence
A judge in New York gave R. Kelly a 30-year prison sentence for his sex crimes, but his lawyer said he didn’t get a fair trial.
AllHipHop got court documents showing R. Kelly’s lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, argued in his appeal that her client didn’t get a fair trial. In addition, the lawyer gave a few examples of how the government allegedly wronged the disgraced singer.
Bonjean said that the jury was not fair. The lawyer said that at least four jurors in R. Kelly’s trial were not fit to serve.
Bonjean wrote, “The defendant is entitled to a new trial because the record shows that at least four of the jurors (Jurors 3, 4, 5, and 12) were not qualified to serve.” “Two of them had seen the upsetting tabloid documentary series.” Getting Through R. Kelly.”
She also said, “Trial counsel’s performance was objectively unreasonable when he didn’t move to get rid of jurors who were obviously not qualified and didn’t do any meaningful voir dire with potential jurors who said what they thought about the case.” Because his lawyer didn’t do a good job, at least four jurors who were actually biased and couldn’t be fair were put on the jury. This hurt the defendant.
Bonjean said a lot of the evidence against R. Kelly needed to be stronger. She also said that the court had made a mistake by letting “bad character evidence” be shown at the trial.
Bonjean wrote, “The defendant’s trial was full of irrelevant and too much bad character evidence that didn’t help the jury decide if the defendant did the crimes he was accused of.” “In fact, most of the six-week trial consisted of uncharged bad acts that didn’t help the case in any way. With the court’s permission, the government snuck in a lot of questionable behavior by saying that the evidence showed the “means and methods” of a business that didn’t exist.
Read Also: Michelle Yeoh casts in new Star Trek film
She went on to say, “This case wasn’t about a business. It was about the actions of one man, who the government wanted to punish for mistreating women in the past.” So, the mountain of bad act evidence that the prosecution brought up was just unreliable and unfair propensity evidence that couldn’t be used. Because Defendant had to defend himself against dozens of uncharged claims of abusive and sexual misbehavior — many of which were legal, but some people didn’t like them — Defendant lost the right to be presumed innocent and couldn’t get a fair trial.
Kelly’s sex crimes got him 30 years in prison from a judge in New York. His appeal wants his conviction to be overturned or for him to get a new trial.