R. Kelly has enlisted the services of Bill Cosby’s high-profile lawyer to help him fight his New York racketeering conviction.
Jennifer Bonjean, a New York-based lawyer, filed her appearance in the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer’s case at the United States District Court in Brooklyn, where the artist was convicted on sex abuse and racketeering charges last month, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Kelly’s appeal and post-conviction petitions, which are due on Monday, will be led by Bonjean, according to the source (Nov. 1). She has, however, asked for a two-month extension.
Recall Bonjean led Cosby’s appeal of his sex offenses conviction in Pennsylvania and was instrumental in his release.
The lawyer told the Chicago Tribune that she is “looking forward to getting familiar with the record” in the case of the Chicago native, which is being prosecuted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
“I am becoming increasingly concerned with how the government is abusing the RICO statute in order to plead around the statute of limitations and essentially put people’s entire lives on trial,” Bonjean said. “It’s becoming a formula for the government. You have a right to defend yourself against specific allegations.”
Last month, Kelly was found guilty of one count of racketeering, as well as 14 other crimes, including sexual exploitation of a child, bribery, abduction, and sex trafficking. He was also found guilty of eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which makes it illegal to transport anybody over state borders “for any immoral purpose.”
Kelly’s sentencing is planned for May 4, 2022, and he could face a sentence ranging from ten years to life in prison.
Last week, a Chicago judge set the date for the child pornography trial that he is facing in his home state. The disgraced singer was accused of recording his sexual encounters with multiple underage girls and bribing possible witnesses with cash and gifts to remain silent about his crimes. He is set to stand trial for those federal sex charges next August.