R. Kelly—born Robert Sylvester Kelly—was convicted on nine counts of racketeering and sex trafficking charges on Sept. 27 in New York City. With Kelly facing life in prison, he is now attempting to overturn his conviction with the help of high-profile attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, who won the appeal of Bill Cosby’s sexual abuse case in Pennsylvania and is the reason he was released from prison back in June.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Bonjean will spearhead Kelly’s post-conviction motions and, should U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly deny Kelly a new trial, work on an appeal before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The post-trial motions are due on Monday (Nov. 1), but Bonjean has asked for a two-month extension.
She also told the publication, she is “looking forward to getting familiar with the record” in Kelly’s case. She considers the RICO charges to be a “kitchen sink approach.” The rest of Kelly’s legal team—Deveraux Cannick, Thomas Farinella, and Nicole Blank Becker—will work on the sentencing “issues.”
Bonjean continued, “I am becoming increasingly concerned with how the government is abusing the RICO statute in order to plead around the statute of limitations and essentially put people’s entire lives on trial. It’s becoming a formula for the government. You have a right to defend yourself against specific allegations.”
Kelly is also facing charges in Chicago where he is accused of bribing and coercing witnesses in his 2008 child pornography case and buying back leaked sex tapes he allegedly made with underage girls. Kelly was acquitted in that 2008 trial, but his federal trial is set for August 2022.