R. Kelly is hoping to get his recent racketeering and sex crimes conviction overturned with the assistance of the attorney who helped Bill Cosby get released on appeal for the comedian's sex abuse case earlier this year.
Earlier today (Oct. 29), New York-based attorney Jennifer Bonjean filed paperwork to be part of Kelly's appeal team, XXL has confirmed via federal court documents. Bonjean will lead Kelly's legal team, which will attempt to get the disgraced singer a new trial or appeal if need be. In court, Bonjean requested a 60-day extension for post-trial motions.
“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 told the Chicago Tribune today. “It’s becoming a formula for the government. You have a right to defend yourself against specific allegations.”
Bonjean headed the legal team that was able to get Bill Cosby freed on appeal for his Pennsylvania sex crimes conviction in June of this year. She plans to do the same for Kelly.
Last month, R. Kelly was found guilty of racketeering and eight violations of sex trafficking charges in Brooklyn federal court. Barring an appeal or new trial, Kelly will be facing between 10 years and life in prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 4, 2022. Even if he does win an appeal, the crooner still faces sex-related charges in his home state of Illinois and Minnesota.
Kelly, whose music sales skyrocketed following the announcement of the guilty verdict, has reportedly been placed on suicide watch in the weeks following his conviction.
XXL has reached out to Bonjean's law firm for comment.