R. Kelly is seeking a retrial over racketeering and sex trafficking case - News - Mixmag
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R. Kelly is seeking a retrial over racketeering and sex trafficking case

The singer is working with a new lawyer and claims he was denied Sixth Amendment rights

  • Becky Buckle
  • 23 February 2022
R. Kelly is seeking a retrial over racketeering and sex trafficking case

R. Kelly has filed motions with his new lawyer Jennifer Bonjean asking for him to either be acquitted or for him to be given a new trial.

The singer’s conviction in New York federal court included racketeering, sexual exploitation of a child and kidnapping.

Filed in the United States District Court of Eastern District of New York, the notice of motion according to Rolling Stone claims that Kelly was denied Sith Amendment rights which means the right to a timely public trial, a lawyer, an impartial jury and the knowledge of who is making the accusations.

Arguments alleged in the motion include that Kelly was also denied effective assistance of counsel when examining potential jurors as well as that his counsel did not challenge unqualified jurors.

The motion states that some of the jurors saw the docuseries Surviving R. Kelly or knew about the prior sexual abuse accusations which resulted in a jury that “was neither fair nor impartial.”

It is also said that a former counsel member was engaged in a conflict of interest by claiming that one of Kelly’s trial attorneys was representing the defendant of a prosecutor’s star witness, known as "Jane."

The court has reportedly confirmed that the attorney did have a professional relationship with Jane while representing Kelly, however, Kelly has opted to waive the conflict of interest to be entitled to a new trial.

In a separate motion, his lawyer argues for a judgment of acquittal as she states that Kelly’s conviction on one count of racketeering, as well as eight counts of violating the Mann Act had not been adequately proven.

It is reported that Bonjean alleged that the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) prosecution was unjustified as it sought to punish Kelly for alleged crimes that “could no longer be prosecuted by state and local agencies” as opposed to “criminal activity of an enterprise”.

The motion states: “The government’s belated interest in protecting the defendant’s alleged victims does not justify the application of the RICO statute to alleged private, sexual misconduct of the Defendant (and only the Defendant), even if some of that conduct could have been timely prosecuted by local authorities long ago.”

In June 2021, Bonjean successfully fought for Bill Cosby’s release from prison after he was accused of the sexual assault of more than 60 women, with his three-to-10-year sentences overturned.

AFEM sponsor a confidential support service for anyone affected by sexual harassment within the Electronic Music Industry
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Call 0800 030 5182, (Outside the UK: +44 800 030 5182) where trained experts will listen and supportBecky Buckle is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter
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