US

R. Kelly’s attorney says lawsuit unfairly portrayed him as a ‘sex deviant’

  • R. Kelly is appealing his sex trafficking conviction.
  • His new lawyer said jurors should not have seen videos of him engaging in group sex or involving feces.
  • The disgraced singer has said all of his sexual encounters were consensual – although a jury ruled otherwise.

A lawyer for R. Kelly asked the judge handling his sex trafficking case to overturn his conviction and hold a new trial, arguing that his lawyers were incompetent and that the disgraced singer had been unfairly presented to the jury as a ” sexual deviant”. “

“Because the defendant was forced to defend himself against dozens of unindicted charges of abusive and sexual misconduct – most of them legal though distasteful to some – the defendant was stripped of the presumption of innocence and was denied a fair trial,” attorney Jennifer Bonjean wrote in a legal memorandum. filed in court Monday evening.

Bonjean first asked U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly for a new trial in February. She argued that infighting within Kelly’s legal team ahead of his trial last September in federal court in Brooklyn left him with an ineffective attorney and that some jurors should never have been seated. Prosecutors said the jurors were all selected fairly. Those jurors ultimately found Kelly guilty of running a criminal enterprise that recruited girls, boys and women for sex.

In his Monday night filing, Bonjean also argued that Kelly’s trial attorneys should have objected to much of the evidence presented to jurors. Kelly was charged with running a “business” for illegal sex. But, Bonjean argued, prosecutors showed jurors “graphic sex” evidence that was prejudicial to them, including pornography, group sex videos and a video involving feces. Kelly’s attorneys argued that any sexual conduct he engaged in was consensual. Many of the women who testified against Kelly at the trial said they were teenagers when Kelly started having sex with them.

“Even if the evidence had a relevant purpose, the evidence was cumulative and unduly prejudicial,” she wrote. “The jury was inundated with shocking stories after the following of unconventional graphic sex acts, including sexual behavior that many, perhaps most, would consider deviant (e.g. group sex, elements of BDSM and coprophilia).”

Bonjean – who won Bill Cosby’s acquittal on appeal – also blasted ‘Surviving R. Kelly’, the docuseries that had spurred criminal charges against the singer. Several of the women who alleged he abused them in the documentary also spoke at the trial.

“The defendant’s trial was little more than a re-enactment of the one-sided ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ docuseries that several jurors had watched before entering the courtroom,” she wrote. . “It’s amazing the government didn’t just present the docuseries as evidence.”

In a 104-page filing in court on Sunday, prosecutors painstakingly laid out the evidence that led to Kelly’s conviction, arguing that any competent jury would have found him guilty.

Sentencing of Kelly, who could spend the rest of his life in prison, is scheduled for May. In addition to his criminal conviction, Kelly faces a second set of federal charges, as well as state-level sexual abuse charges, based in Chicago. A Minnesota prosecutor also charged him with soliciting prostitution. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.

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