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A judge has denied R. Kelly’s attempt to delay his sentencing for his sex trafficking and racketeering conviction until after his next trial.
Kelly’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean had requested for his May 4 sentencing hearing to be pushed until after his separate federal trial in Chicago in August, Rolling Stone reports. But on Tuesday, Brooklyn Federal Judge Ann Donnelly denied that request, rejecting an argument that Kelly’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination could be violated if he’s sentenced for his New York-based crimes before the next trial.
Donnelly did postpone Kelly’s sentencing date slightly, from May 4 to June 16. That is attributed to a delay in the filing of some of Kelly’s legal documents.
Prosecutors in New York had strongly opposed the request, arguing in a letter to Donnelly that Kelly’s victims “have waited years” to see the “Ignition” singer be held accountable, the New York Post reports.
“Many victims have cleared their schedules to travel from other states to New York to attend and be heard at the May 4, 2022 sentencing hearing,” the prosecutors argued, according to Rolling Stone.
Bonjean, who was credited for getting Bill Cosby out of prison last year after successfully appealing his 2018 sex assault conviction, also successfully filed for more time to appeal Kelly’s conviction citing his COVID-19 diagnosis.
Kelly, 55, was found guilty by a federal jury in Brooklyn in September of sexual exploitation of a child, bribery, kidnapping, racketeering and sex trafficking. Throughout Kelly’s trial, prosecutors argued that Kelly sexually abused numerous young women and men, some of whom were underage, over a nearly two-decade period. Furthermore, they said he led an enterprise of managers, bodyguards and other employees who recruited the victims for him while giving them false hope that he’d help them with their entertainment careers.
Kelly could face up to life in prison.
The singer also faces separate sex crimes trials in Illinois and Minnesota, and has pleaded not guilty in those cases. Kelly was previously accused of child pornography in Chicago in 2002; he was ultimately acquitted in 2008.
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