R. Kelly’s defense team filed two motions in federal court on Nov. 15 asking for a new trial or acquittal of his conviction on multiple sex abuse-related charges two months ago, the Chicago Tribune reports.
In September, a federal jury in Chicago found Kelly, 55, guilty of three child pornography counts and three counts of enticing minors for sex. He was acquitted of seven other charges, including obstruction of justice and conspiracy to receive child pornography.
The trial judge is expected to reject the motions, which are filed routinely after criminal convictions, according to CBS News. The motions from the R&B singer’s lead attorney Jennifer Bonjean, explain the defense team’s arguments that the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals will likely later consider.
Bonjean argues in the first motion that the trial judge should acquit Kelly of all counts because of several technical errors. According to Bonjean, the technicalities include the prosecutor’s failure to prove that the video of Kelly abusing his minor goddaughter, identified in court by the pseudonym “Jane,” was for the “purpose” of producing child pornography. She also claims that the prosecutor presented insufficient evidence to prove that the notorious tape crossed state lines.
The defense team’s second motion, which seeks a new trial, alleges that Dr. Darrel Turner, a prosecution expert witness, misstated to the jury how much the government paid him for his testimony.
Turner, a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist, testified at the trial about how sexual predators “groom” underage victims.
He told jurors that the government paid him $250 per hour for his work, but Bonjean claimed that his contract was for $450.00 per hour. According to Bonjean, an invoice showed that Turner billed the government for 6.5 hours of trial preparation, while Turner testified that he worked on the case for two hours.
“Had the jurors known that Dr. Turner actively misled them, the jurors would likely have rejected his testimony outright,” Bonjean stated.
Federal prosecutors have until Dec. 6 to respond to Bonjean's motions, as Kelly awaits sentencing on Feb. 23.
Kelly faces the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison. In 2021, a federal jury in New York convicted him of racketeering and sex trafficking, and a judge sentenced him to 30 years behind bars for those crimes.
Meanwhile, Kelly faces four separate indictments in Cook County, Illinois involving alleged sexual abuse or assault of four people, three of whom were underage girls at the time.