Robert Sylvester Kelly, often known as R. Kelly, a former American music artist, has appealed his New York federal sex offense conviction.
In February 2023, U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber found Kelly guilty of sexually abusing a minor and sentenced him to an additional 20 years in prison. Kelly was already serving a federal 30-year sentence for three counts of producing child pornography and three counts of encouraging a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.
R. Kelly requests that the Appeal Court overturn his convictions or, at the very least, mandate a fresh trial.
However, in a recent development, the 56-year-old musician provided some justifications for why his sentence should be overturned in his appeal.
Even though a jury found him guilty on all counts, he contended in court that the government had not met its burden of proof.
Additionally, the jury and some of the evidence that the prosecution was permitted to present throughout the trial have drawn the ire of his attorneys.
They asserted that at least four of the chosen jurors have now acknowledged prejudging his guilt before delivering the final decision. Additionally, it was claimed that two of the jury members had seen the documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly” and should not have been chosen.
Kelly maintained that some of the girls he was accused of assaulting and grooming were at least 18 years old when he first met them and initiated a sexual relationship with them, despite the prosecution’s assertion that the alleged grooming began while the victims were still minors.
Kelly’s lawyers asserted that he was mislead by the girls in instances when he is alleged to have met with actual minors since they did not disclose their actual ages to him at the time.
His attorneys contended that details about his sexual life, conduct, and behavior with his former partners or exes, accounts of which dove into STDs, sexual preferences, and bedroom behavior, were not pertinent to the crimes being alleged against him and were merely a side note to the case.