A Federal Court judge in Brooklyn on Tuesday denied R. Kelly‘s request to delay sentencing for his sex trafficking conviction in New York.
The judge rejected Kelly’s argument that his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination could be violated if he’s sentenced before an upcoming federal trial on separate charges set to begin on August 1 in Illinois. Kelly’s sentencing date was postponed to June 16 from May 4, citing a delay in the filing of the R&B singer’s presentence report.
Kelly’s new lawyer Jennifer Bonjean sought the delay with the argument Kelly deserves a chance to work with a sentencing mitigation expert without fear “his words might be used against him in some manner” at his next trial.
Prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York dismissed her argument as “speculative concern.” They argued it “strains credibility that [Kelly] would say anything to a potential mitigation expert that would incriminate him” in his other case.
The prosecutors added that they would not share any such mitigation report with the prosecutors from the Northern District of Illinois and would “would welcome a court order further prohibiting any such disclosure.”
“As proven at trial, the defendant engaged in wide-ranging and extensive criminal conduct, involving multiple victims, with impunity for decades,” prosecutors wrote in a letter. “His victims have waited years to see the defendant held to account and sentenced for his crimes. Many victims have cleared their schedules to travel from other states to New York to attend and be heard at the May 4, 2022 sentencing hearing.”
Kelly faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison for the conviction.
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