R. Kelly’s lawyer Deveraux Cannick petitioned U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly in a letter for more time to prepare their defense.
What We Know:
- Robert Sylvester Kelly, better known under his artist name R. Kelly, is being tried in a federal court in Brooklyn for leading an enterprise of managers, bodyguards, and other employees who helped recruit women and girls for him to have sex with. He switched legal teams on June 21, which did not give counsel adequate time to prepare. Cannick and other members of his team have been unable to meet with Kelly as he was transferred from a facility in Chicago to Brooklyn and required to undergo a two-week quarantine. In his appeal to the court, Cannick said, “Robert (R. Kelly) is anxious to have his day in court; however, not at the expense of his Sixth Amendment rights.”
- Cannick also requested that Kelly be released on bail in order to assist the defense better. The concern was, after receiving the extension, they would be forced to jockey for limited conference room space and be forced to meet with Kelly at open tables alongside other inmates. Cannick wrote, “The nature of the evidence here does not lend itself to open frank discussions in such an environment.” Donnelly denied this request but granted the extension, assuring Cannick that they could visit Kelly in jail as much as they desired.
- Grammy-award winner, multiplatinum recording artist, and R&B singer are just some of the accolades Kelly possessed prior to the charges that unfolded against him in 2019. In 1996, he won multiple Grammy’s for his song “I Believe I Can Fly” and would go on to release 22 chapters of “Trapped in the Closet,” which became a cult classic.
- For decades complaints and allegations of his sexual behavior followed his career. In 2002, he was charged in a child pornography case in Chicago but was acquitted in 2006. It was not until the Lifetime documentary Surviving R. Kelly was released during the #MeToo movement that Kelly began to be charged with misconduct. This case is just one of many surrounding Kelly. He faces other sex-related charges in Illinois and Minnesota. He is pleading not guilty to all charges and has continued to deny abusing anyone.
Jury selection for Kelly’s case will still be held on August 9, but opening statements will be postponed to August 18 in order for counsel to meet with Kelly.