R. Kelly’s legal troubles have worsened following the singer’s federal conviction on racketeering and sex trafficking charges. In September 2021, the entertainer was found guilty of one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which bans the transportation of women across state lines for the purpose of prostitution, according to CBS News.
On June 29, the “Ignition” singer was sentenced to 30 years in prison, despite his attorney’s request for 10 years in prison. “For the victims in this case, your voices have been heard and justice has finally been served,” U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulist said after the verdict (via Page Six). “No one deserves what they have experienced through their hands. Or the threats and harassment he was subjected to.”
And while Kelly didn’t speak during his sentencing, his attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, stressed that the singer regrets his actions but neglected the notion that he was a “monster,” according to CNN. Bonjean also warned of a pending lawsuit against Kelly, which will soon return to court.
Jury selection begins in R. Kelly’s second federal trial
Nearly two months after being sentenced to a 30-year sentence for multiple sex crimes, R. Kelly is preparing for a second federal trial. According to the Washington Post, the Chicago-based trial stems from allegations that the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer tampered with witnesses during his 2008 child pornography trial. Kelly’s former associates, Derrel McDavid and Milton “June” Brown, will also be co-defendants in the upcoming trial. According to the Post, the then-underage victim who was at the center of Kelly’s original child pornography case is set to take a stand and confirm her participation in the infamous video.
Kelly has since expressed concerns about jury selection. Legal documents obtained by TMZ revealed a request by the singer’s legal team to disqualify potential jurors who may have seen the documentary series Surviving R. Kelly. “There is no scenario in which a person exposed to Surviving R. Kelly’s content can be impartial,” his attorneys argued. The trial is scheduled to begin on August 15.