R. Kelly has officially filed an appeal in his federal sex crimes case out of New York — and he’s got a laundry list of reasons why he thinks his conviction should be reversed.
According to legal docs, obtained by TMZ, the controversial singer — who was found guilty in 2021 on 9 federal counts that included RICO charges as well as charges pertaining to sex crimes and human trafficking — says he got a raw deal throughout the lengthy trial.
For starters, R. Kelly’s legal team simply argues the government did not meet its burden of proof in court … despite a jury convicting him on all counts. His lawyers have specific gripes about the jury and some of the evidence prosecutors were allowed to submit during trial.
For the jury, his attorneys say that at least 4 of the jurors selected have since admitted prejudging his guilt before handing down their official verdict — and he says at least 2 of them had watched the “Surviving R. Kelly” docuseries, and should never have been seated on the jury.
As for the underage girls he’s alleged to have groomed and molested … Kelly seems to have an explanation for what happened in each case. He says some were, in fact, at least 18 years old when he met and engaged in sexual relationships with them — despite prosecutors’ insistence the alleged grooming started while they were still minors.
In the cases where Kelly is alleged to have met with actual minors … his team claims he was misled by those girls at the time about their real age.
Now, on the evidence front — his team claims there was a lot of stuff that was allowed in during the trial that shouldn’t have been seen or heard by the jury … and hurt his ability to get a fair trial.
For instance, he says details about his sex life and/or conduct and behavior with former partners or exes of his — accounts of which dove into STDs, sexual preferences and behavior in the bedroom — were not relevant to the crimes being alleged against him, and were simply a way for prosecutors to sway the jury.
He also pushes back on former employees/associates of his that were trotted out on the stand … saying a lot of them falsely testified to things they had no real knowledge of and weren’t privy to in their capacity as staffers.
He’s asking the appeals court to reverse his convictions or, at a minimum, order a new trial. Of course, there’s a second federal case in which he was also convicted out of Chicago. No appeal for that just yet
His attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, filed R. Kelly’s appeal Tuesday. He’s currently serving a 30-year sentence in this matter … not to mention another 20 years for the Chicago case.