During closing arguments on Thursday (September 23), a defense lawyer for R. Kelly likened the accused sexual predator to Martin Luther King Jr.
TMZ reports attorney Deveraux Cannick made the comparison between Kelly —who is on trial for allegedly running a criminal enterprise that involved raping several women and girls — and the civil rights leader. He told the jury that MLK was labeled a “rabble-rouser” and was ultimately killed for trying to secure equality for all Americans.
Cannick used a portion of King’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, which he delivered just a day before his assassination.
“Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech,” Cannick recited. “Somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press.”
The defense attorney suggested Kelly wanted the government to abide by the U.S. Constitution, like King, and said it was the prosecution’s burden to prove the singer’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
“All I’m trying to do is make it true to what it said on paper,’” Cannick added. “That’s all Rob is trying to do.”
R. Kelly is currently on federal trial in Brooklyn on charges of running a criminal enterprise where employees recruited women and girls for him to abuse and sexually assault. The singer has pleaded not guilty to all charges.