R. Kelly is appealing his September 2021 guilty verdicts on sex trafficking and racketeering charges in New York, according to CNN.
The singer is seeking a reversal of that conviction or a new trial, court documents show.
R. Kelly’s Lawyers Argue That Jurors In NY Case Were Familiar With Sex Trafficking Accusations Before Trial
R Kelly’s attorneys argue at least four seated jurors in the New York case were familiar with the sex trafficking accusations before trial. Additionally, the attorneys noted some had seen the “Surviving R. Kelly” series.
“Numerous seated jurors were either familiar with accusations that Defendant had a history of sexually abusing underage girls, had previously faced legal problems, and/or had seen the highly unflattering docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly, in which several government witnesses had appeared,” the brief reportedly said.
It added: “Defense counsel did not move to disqualify jurors who admitted they had prejudged Defendant’s guilt or had gathered knowledge about the case from other sources.”
Disgraced R&B Star Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison In New York And 20 Years In Chicago
In June 2022, the disgraced R&B star was sentenced to 30 years in prison in a New York federal court. A jury convicted him of nine counts, including one charge of racketeering and eight counts of violations of the Mann Act, a sex trafficking law, The Shade Room reported at the time.
Prosecutors, in that case, accused Kelly of using his status as a celebrity and a “network of people at his disposal to target girls, boys and young women for his own sexual gratification.”
R. Kelly was also sentenced separately earlier this year to 20 years in prison in a Chicago federal courtroom following a 2022 conviction on charges of child pornography and enticement of a minor, The Shade Room reported in January.
RELATED: R. Kelly Gets 20 Years In Prison But Avoids Lengthy Add-On Sentencing, Still Wouldn’t Be Freed Until He’s At Least 80
R. Kelly’s Attorneys Argue No Proof Of Criminal Enterprise
Earlier this week, R. Kelly’s attorney filed a brief in the New York Case arguing his federal racketeering charge as “absurdly remote.” The attorney also reportedly added that it aimed to prosecute him for “alleged misdeeds going back decades without pesky statutes of limitations obstacles.”
Meanwhile, prosecutors did not properly establish the federal statute under which R. Kelly was charged, which requires proof of an ongoing criminal enterprise.
His attorneys allege the prosecution failed to show there was a “collective of individuals who shared any common purpose other than to promote” R. Kelly’s music.
“The government brought a (racketeering) prosecution against Defendant, not to remedy widespread criminal activity of an enterprise, but to punish one man whose alleged crimes could no longer be prosecuted by state and local agencies,” the brief says.
Lawyers Look To Have Confiscated Funds Returned To Singer, Claim Bad Evidence Was Allowed In Trial
His lawyers also claimed that prosecutors “swamped the jury with excessive other bad act evidence” that should never have been allowed in the trial in the first place.
Among that evidence includes medical documents that detail R. Kelly’s contraction and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases; his alleged mistreatment of employees; audio in which he allegedly both verbally and physically assaulted his girlfriend, which they claim was unrelated to the case; and “audio and video-recordings of this conduct with women and men, some of whom never testified.”
After the singer’s trial, the government seized nearly $28,000 from his trust account. He was also ordered to pay over $360,000 in restitution to two women who allegedly got herpes from him.
Kelly’s lawyers also want to vacate those orders and have the confiscated funds returned to his trust account.