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R. Kelly files request for acquittal or new trial for federal child pornography conviction

R. Kelly attends the BMG Celebration for the Grammy Awards
R. Kelly filed motions to attempt to overturn his child pornography conviction. Pic credit: ©ImageCollect.com/StarMaxWorldwide

R. Kelly was sentenced to prison after being convicted of child pornography and sex abuse charges. However, he has now filed motions to request either a complete overturning of his conviction or a new trial.

The motions were filed on November 15 by his attorney, Jennifer Bonjean. The first filing sought to overturn the singer’s convictions based on some alleged technical errors in court procedures.

Bonjean claimed that the court had failed to prove that a video of Kelly’s abuse was made with the intention of producing child pornography and that the court had not proven that Kelly had coerced or enticed his victims to commit sexual acts.

She also petitioned for a total acquittal of the singer on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

Meanwhile, in a second filing, for a new trial, she alleged that a witness, Dr. Darrel Turner, falsified his testimony. Turner testified based only on research that he conducted on child grooming without actually examining Kelly himself, and he allegedly failed to disclose how much he made from prosecutors for his work on the case.

The court has not yet responded to these motions, but it is unlikely they will be granted.

R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison

Kelly’s trial came to a close in September and ultimately found him guilty on three charges each of child pornography and enticing a minor.

However, he was acquitted on additional charges of obstruction of justice. The obstruction of justice charge stemmed from 2008 when he was put on trial on 14 charges of child pornography but was acquitted on every count.

It was alleged that he rigged the 2008 trial to nab the acquittal. However, due to a lack of evidence, the charges were dropped.

Even without that additional charge, though, Kelly was sentenced to a total of 30 years in prison for his sex abuse crimes. Although he wasn’t arrested until 2019, he was first indicted on child pornography charges back in 2002.

Meanwhile, abuse allegations against him started as early as the 1990s. In 1996 Tiffany Hawkins filed a lawsuit against him on allegations of abuse, while in 1994, he allegedly illegally married a 15-year-old.

Despite all of the accusations against him, he evaded arrest for decades. It wasn’t until a powerful documentary, Surviving R. Kelly, came out and detailed his sexual abuse allegations that authorities started probing him again.

Who is R. Kelly?

Prior to the surfacing of his sexual abuse, Kelly was known as an R&B singer-songwriter and music producer. He broke into the music industry by joining a musical group called MGM.

His place in MGM earned him national attention after the group was offered a music contract and made live TV appearances. By 1991 he had signed with a recording company himself and released his debut album a year later.

He became known for his gospel-influenced style and the racy content of his songs.

Kelly’s career earned him three Grammy Awards as well collaborations with icons like Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. However, many of his former collaborators have worked to remove all traces of their work with him.

Streaming services like Spotify have also been working on removing his music from their platforms. His musical legacy has been rendered largely obsolete, given the gravity of the crimes he committed.

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