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R. Kelly and his defense team have filed motions to a judge in Chicago to have his federal convictions tossed out or to grant him a new trial.
According to reports, Kelly’s lead attorney Jennifer Bonjean filed the motions in a federal court in Chicago, Illinois on Tuesday (Nov. 15). The dual motions request that the judge throw out the artist’s federal convictions for child pornography and sexual abuse and grant a new trial. The motions are considered routine and are expected to be denied, but they will help to preserve arguments that could be presented later to the seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
Bonjean wrote in the motions filed with U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber that the convictions be thrown out due to several technicalities. One of those was a claim that clinical psychologist Darrell Turner – the first witness for the prosecution – submitted “perjured testimony” regarding his payment for hours on the case.
“In the case at bar, the government’s case … turned on the credibility of the complainants. The government bolstered the credibility of the complainants through ‘expert testimony’ of a witness who knowingly gave false testimony and misled the jury,” she wrote in the document. A separate motion declared that prosecutors had failed to prove exactly how the disgraced singer “coerced” his victims, known as “Jane”, “Nia”, and “Pauline” into engaging in sex acts with the intent of creating the infamous tapes of those acts.
“While the evidence may have been sufficient to prove violations of criminal sexual abuse under the Illinois criminal code, it did not establish that Defendant: (1) enticed or persuaded Jane to engage in the prohibited conduct; or (2) that he did so with the purpose of producing the contraband images,” Bonjean wrote in the filing.
Kelly was convicted in September on multiple charges by a jury who found he was guilty of sexually abusing “Jane” (who was his 14-year-old stepdaughter) and other minors from the late 1990s and into the early 2000s. However, he and his co-defendants Derrel McDavid and Milton “June” Brown, were acquitted on charges of covering up the abuses.
The 55-year-old had previously been sentenced to 30 years in prison after being convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking charges in New York earlier this year. Sentencing for these latest charges has been set for Feb. 23, 2023 where Kelly could receive an additional prison term of 10 to 90 years.