Content warning: The following article contains allegations involving the sexual abuse of a minor.
Robert “R.” Kelly’s defense team is pushing back on the prosecution’s request to add additional evidence in the upcoming trial where the 54-year-old R&B singer is facing federal sex trafficking and racketeering charges.
As The Root reported over the weekend, prosecutors requested that additional allegations stemming from his Chicago case be added to the record, including claims that members of his entourage bribed a Cook County clerk for legal issue information in 2019, that entourage members paid for a fake ID for the late Aaliyah in 1994 and that Kelly allegedly sexually abused a 17-year-old boy in 2006. Federal New York prosecutors filed the request on Friday, noting the additional charges are “inextricably intertwined with the evidence of the charged crimes.”
On Monday, one lawyer from Kelly’s team, Tom Farinella spoke to CNN about the request.
“This is nothing more than a veiled effort to pile on to further shape the public’s perception in this case ignoring that Mr. Kelly is presumed innocent until proven otherwise,” Farinella said in a statement. “The defense will vigorously oppose their requests. As the trial nears, we are looking forward to the truth prevailing.”
With regard to the sexual abuse allegation involving the male minor, CNN further reports:
Prosecutors say, if permitted, one witness is expected to testify that Kelly directed her to obtain child pornography involving boys for him, and in their filing state that multiple videos were obtained from a device obtained during a search of Kelly’s home that corroborate her testimony.
However, their filing also states the government has been “unable to confirm the identity or ages of the individuals appearing in these videos.”
According to TMZ, there are “new Jane Does sprinkled in the filing as well [...] on top of the ones he’s already alleged to have trafficked.”
Kelly’s racketeering trial is set to begin in Brooklyn in August.