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R. Kelly’s Challenge of 20-Year Sentence Rejected by Chicago Appeals Court – WHDH 7News Provides Updates on Boston News, Weather, and Sports

R. Kelly’s Challenge of 20-Year Sentence Rejected by Chicago Appeals Court

In a recent ruling, a federal appeals court in Chicago upheld R. Kelly’s 20-year prison sentence for child sex convictions. The Grammy Award-winning R&B singer, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was convicted in 2022 on three charges of producing child sexual abuse images and three charges of enticing minors for sex.

One of Kelly’s main arguments in his appeal was that Illinois’ former and shorter statute of limitations on child sex crime prosecutions should have been applied to his case rather than the current law that allows charges while the accuser is still alive. However, the three-judge panel from the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected this argument, stating that Kelly had employed a complex scheme to keep his victims silent and evade prosecution.

Another point of contention raised by Kelly was that charges involving one accuser should have been tried separately from the charges tied to three other accusers due to video evidence that became a focal point of the trial. The video allegedly showed Kelly abusing a girl, and the accuser testified that she was 14 at the time. Despite this argument, the jurors acquitted Kelly on seven out of the 13 counts against him, even after viewing the disturbing tapes.

Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, expressed disappointment in the ruling but vowed to continue fighting for her client’s freedom. She plans to seek U.S. Supreme Court review of the decision and pursue all possible appellate remedies.

Prosecutors in Chicago had sought an even harsher sentence of 25 years for Kelly. They also requested that the time not begin until after he completed a 30-year sentence imposed in New York for federal racketeering and sex trafficking convictions. However, Judge Harry Leinenweber rejected this request and ordered that Kelly serve the 20-year sentence concurrently with his New York conviction.

This is not the only legal battle Kelly is facing. He has also appealed his New York sentence, arguing that prosecutors improperly used a racketeering statute written to combat organized crime to target him. Last month, his attorney Jennifer Bonjean presented this argument before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

While the appeals court’s decision upholding Kelly’s 20-year sentence is a setback for the singer, it is clear that his legal team is determined to exhaust all avenues of appeal. The case has garnered significant attention due to the high-profile nature of the defendant and the serious nature of the charges against him. The outcome of Kelly’s appeals will continue to be closely watched by both his supporters and those who advocate for justice for his alleged victims.

Stay tuned for further updates on R. Kelly’s legal battles and the pursuit of justice in this high-profile case.

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