Jury Finds R. Kelly Guilty on Child Pornography and Sex Abuse Charges

R. Kelly Attorney Asks Appeals Court To Grant New Trial Or Reverse Convictions

On Monday, March 18, an attorney for convicted R&B singer R. Kelly was motioning for her client to be granted a new trial or reverse the 2021 convictions due to what she deemed as improperly using the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) statute against the songwriter.

According to The Associated Press, Jennifer Bonjean, who represents Kelly was at the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan to try to persuade the panel of three judges that her client was imprisoned using the wrong statute to convict and jail him. She argued that the RICO statute was written to shut down organized crime, but they used it against Kelly. In her plea, she stated that with the interpretation of the statute used, many legitimate organizations — even college fraternities — could be recognized as racketeering organizations under the same law.

She stated that prosecutors unfairly charged the 57-year-old singer with leading a RICO enterprise from 1994 to 2018 consisting of people who promoted his music and recruited women and girls to take part in illegal sexual activity as well as produce child pornography.

“This was not a collection of people who had a purpose to recruit girls for sexual abuse or child pornography,” Bonjean said. “Whether they turned a blind eye, whether some of them suspected that some of these girls were underage, that’s a whole different matter.

“And once we get into that sort of territory, where we’re going to say that constitutes a RICO enterprise, well we have a lot of organizations — we have a lot of frat houses — we have all types of organizations that are now going to become RICO enterprises,” she added.

Kelly was sentenced on June 29, 2022, to 30 years in prison after being convicted in a Brooklyn, New York federal court of racketeering and violating the Mann Act, a sex trafficking law, that includes having sex with underage girls.

The judges have not ruled on the appeal yet.

R. Kelly Attorney Asks Court For New Trial Or Reverse Convictions

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