Ahead of R. Kelly’s trial in Brooklyn, New York, federal prosecutors are reportedly asking for deliberations of the fallen R&B singer’s trial to be held before an anonymous panel of jurors.
Prosecutors cited they believe Kelly is “capable of inflicting violence,” according to a new report from the Chicago Sun-Times.
This sort of move is usually reserved for cases that involve the mob, terrorists, or street gangs, but prosecutors noted Kelly has a history of being accused of obstruction of justice. They want to keep any identifying information of prospective juror’s hidden from the 52-year-old and his legal team for their safe being.
Federal authorities are also considering having jurors eat lunch together and be escorted in and out of the courthouse by the U.S. Marshals Service “so that they do not mingle in the courthouse with the public or any potential trial spectator,” the publication further reported.
His lawyer, Steve Greenberg, called the prosecutor’s request “ridiculous” and “absurd.”
“To suggest that [Kelly] may harm a juror because there are allegations that he may have engaged in domestic violence is, frankly, insulting,” Greenberg said. “It’s insulting and illogical.”
R. Kelly was originally scheduled to appear in a court this month, but the date was pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 52-year-old is currently being held at Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center without bail as he awaits trial following. This Sunday (July 12), will mark one year since he was arrested.
Kelly is facing several sex crime charges, including child pornography, racketeering, and sex trafficking, across New York, Minnesota and Chicago. He is slated to appear in a Brooklyn court on September 29 while his trial in his hometown has been set for October 13.
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