R Kelly Appeals a 30-Year Sentence for Sex Crimes

R. Kelly quickinfobuzz

R Kelly is asking a New York court to remove his 30-year racketeering sentence given to him in 2022. He was found guilty of racketeering and trafficking after a big trial in New York in 2021, following many accusations throughout his career.

He also got an extra year in prison in Chicago last year for charges related to indecent pictures of children and child enticement.

Kelly, who wasn’t there for the appeal, claims that prosecutors didn’t prove he engaged in racketeering or harmed multiple women.

He argued he didn’t get a fair trial because some jurors already thought he was guilty, his lawyer didn’t help enough, and the jury saw too much evidence of other alleged bad behavior.

His lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, started the appeal by questioning what exactly defines a RICO enterprise (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) and if such an organization has to be inherently illegal.

Talking about R Kelly’s staff and whether they knew about what happened privately, she mentioned that although they had rules and tasks, these tasks were somewhat unusual but not enough to make them realize that illegal things were happening behind closed doors.

How Was R Kelly Deeply Involved in Crime?

Representing the United States, assistant US attorney Kayla Bensing said Kelly had a system that attracted young people to him, and then he controlled their lives.

She continued to describe how women aged 16 or 17 were invited backstage by Kelly’s staff, including one whom Kelly’s bouncers invited to a concert in Miami.

Kayla claimed that this happened “three days after Kelly’s marriage to Aaliyah, in which he bribed a county official to hide or alleviate the consequences of illegal sexual activity”.

Also, Ms. Bensing stated that there was proof Kelly’s crew was aware that he had herpes while engaging in unprotected intercourse with his victims.

She accused Kelly of forced labor saying that he was “obtaining labor and services, here sex acts, through threats of serious harm or physical restraint against the victims.”

“So unless the court is prepared to say that a single act of oral sex, even if it’s forced, frankly constitutes forced labor, that is just making federal law coextensive with state law,” Ms. Bonjean said in her three-minute rebuttal of the argument. “The forced labor counts were premised on a single act,” she continued.

Also, Ms Bonjean stated that the government was adopting the “unique” and “not supported” prior cases stance that “a RICO enterprise can not be rooted in criminality.”

Meanwhile, the judges will consider the appeal and write later. Kelly, who is 57 years old now, can’t get out of jail until he’s 80 because of his convictions.

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