Feds Blast R. Kelly’s Bid To Delay Sentencing: ‘His Victims Have Waited Years’

Feds Blast R. Kelly’s Bid To Delay Sentencing: ‘His Victims Have Waited Years’

Federal prosecutors on Monday sharply objected to R. Kelly’s recent request to delay sentencing for his sex trafficking and racketeering convictions, arguing that the singer’s victims have already “waited years” to see justice.

Kelly’s new lawyer, Jennifer Ann Bonjean, argued last week that the singer’s May 4 sentencing in Brooklyn federal court should be pushed back until after he stands trial in August on separate charges in Illinois. She said statements made during the sentencing “might be used against him” in the later trial.

But in a response on Monday, prosecutors said they “strenuously oppose” that request and urged the judge to stick to the original sentencing date.

“His victims have waited years to see the defendant held to account and sentenced for his crimes,” prosecutors wrote Monday. “Moreover … 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.”

After decades of accusations of sexual misconduct, Kelly was convicted in September in New York federal court on nine counts related to accusations that the singer had orchestrated a long-running scheme to recruit and abuse women and underage girls, setting the stage for a potential lifetime prison sentence.

The upcoming second trial, currently scheduled to start August 1 in Chicago federal court, focuses on separate charges that Kelly obtained child pornography and obstructed justice.

In a motion last week, Bonjean urged U.S. District Judge Ann M. Donnelly to delay the sentencing until after the August trial. She said Kelly might be able to mitigate his upcoming prison sentence by offering certain testimony, but that she was concerned that such statements might be used against him in the Chicago trial.

“Mr. Kelly is facing a serious and lengthy sentence of imprisonment,” Bonjean wrote. “He should not have to forego presenting mitigation evidence at his sentencing hearing out of fear that his words could be used against him at his upcoming trial.”

In Monday’s response, prosecutors said that argument “strains credulity.” They said the singer was highly unlikely to admit any guilt, since he’s currently seeking to overturn the verdict and has “essentially challenged every aspect of his conviction.”

“To the extent the defendant intends to appropriately highlight his own background and characteristics [that] the court should consider at sentencing as mitigation, he can do so – and surely intends to do so – without admitting his guilt given his likely appeal,” they wrote.

Prosecutors also offered to put up a firewall between the teams from the Illinois and New York U.S. Attorney’s offices. They said Bonjean’s “speculative concern” about sentencing would be “entirely ameliorated” through such a procedure.

Feds Blast R. Kelly’s Bid To Delay Sentencing: ‘His Victims Have Waited Years’ Federal prosecutors on Monday sharply objected to R. Kelly’s recent request to delay sentencing for his sex trafficking and racketeering convictions, arguing that the singer’s victims have already “waited years” to see justice. Kelly’s new lawyer, Jennifer Ann Bonjean, argued last week that…