R. Kelly has requested a further postponement of his sex trafficking trial in New York after being forced into quarantine for 14 days upon arrival at his new prison.
Lawyers for the disgraced singer, 54, argued they had not had enough time to prepare for an Aug. 9 hearing due to mandatory jail quarantine following his transfer from Chicago .
In a letter to U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly on Monday, attorney Deveraux Cannick wrote that the end of Kelly’s quarantine today exacerbated a “Herculean effort” to level up after they were hired on June 21. .
Cannick argued that Kelly’s new lawyers were unable to meet with him in person due to quarantine and that continuing the R&B star’s trial as scheduled would deprive him of effective and meaningful representation.
Kelly, 54, is accused of running a company made up of his managers, bodyguards and other employees who helped him recruit women and girls for sex.
Federal prosecutors said the group selected the victims at concerts and other venues and arranged for them to come to see Kelly. The Grammy-winning singer denies ever abusing anyone.
Disgraced singer R. Kelly has requested a further postponement of his New York sex trafficking trial after being forced into quarantine for 14 days upon arrival at his new prison
The disgraced singer is awaiting trial on a slew of sex trafficking charges in New York and Chicago. The 54-year-old New York City trial begins on August 9. In the photo, in September 2019
Kelly, whose legal name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was placed in quarantine upon his arrival at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn on June 22 from Chicago, where he was being held on similar charges.
Today marks 14 days since Kelly’s transfer to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, the same prison as Ghislaine Maxwell, the alleged madam of Jeffrey Epstein who is also awaiting trial for sex trafficking.
“Robert can’t wait to have his day in court; but not at the expense of his Sixth Amendment rights, ”Cannick wrote, saying the request was not a delay tactic.
Federal prosecutors had not responded to Cannick’s request on Monday evening and declined to comment. Donnelly has yet to rule on the filing.
R. Kelly appears via Chicago video screen alongside attorneys and Judge Ann Donnelly at a pre-trial sexual abuse hearing in August in New York City on June 17
Today marks 14 days since Kelly was transferred to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn (pictured) in the same prison as Ghislaine Maxwell, the alleged madam of Jeffrey Epstein who is also awaiting trial for sex trafficking
Federal prisons are quarantining inmates transferred and newly incarcerated since the start of the Covid pandemic under protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.
Cannick has said that after Kelly’s quarantine is over and he will be allowed to meet with his lawyers, they will be forced to fight for one of Brooklyn Jail’s limited conference rooms.
If a room is not available, he wrote, they will have to meet Kelly at a table alongside other lawyers and inmates.
“The nature of the evidence here does not lend itself to open discussions in such an environment,” Cannick wrote.
Kelly faces a series of charges, including racketeering and sex trafficking.
He also faces state charges in Minnesota, Illinois and New York, but his federal trial will take place first. It has been delayed several times since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Over the past 18 months, his lawyers have repeatedly requested his release, claiming his health is in danger.
He was charged following the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries, where several women said they were abused by him.
Federal charges in Chicago accuse Kelly of filming himself having sex with underage girls and paying potential witnesses at his 2008 trial – where he was acquitted – to get them to change their stories.
Kelly faces a series of charges, including racketeering and sex trafficking. He also faces state charges in Minnesota, Illinois and New York, but his federal trial will be held first (pictured from September 2019)
In the docuseries, several women claimed that he and his entourage had starved them and deprived them of their cell phones.
They allegedly controlled the sleep of the women and also forced them to have sex with each other.
He has always denied any wrongdoing and in an interview with Gayle King he blew up and claimed to have been the victim of a set-up.
If found guilty, Kelly could spend the rest of his life in prison.