R. Kelly contracts COVID-19 in prison, Judge extends sentencing date
R&B singer, R. Kelly has contracted COVID-19 while awaiting sentencing in a Brooklyn federal jail.
This was disclosed by his lawyer in a court filing recently.
His lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, stated that the singer’s diagnosis has hampered his ability to speak on the phone about an appeal for his conviction, which is due on Thursday.
She however requested a two-week extension for his sentencing.
“It is vitally important that Mr. Kelly meaningfully participates in his post-trial defense,”Bonjean wrote in the motion, saying she hoped to communicate with him in an upcoming Zoom call.
Bonjean, a New York-based attorney whose legal career began in Chicago, also noted that Kelly had decided to part ways with his original trial team, but that formal withdrawals were still pending.
Bonjean said prosecutors did not object to the delay as the U.S. District Judge, Ann Donnelly, granted the extension.
The new deadline to file the appeal is now February 17.
Meanwhile, thirty-nine inmates have reportedly contracted the virus at the facility where Kelly is being held.
Recall that 54-year-old Kelly was convicted on the 27th of September, 2021 on racketeering conspiracy charges. He allegedly used his music career to further a criminal enterprise.
Also, the jury found him guilty of 12 individual illegal acts, including sex with multiple underage girls as well as a 1994 scheme to bribe an Illinois public aid official to get a phony ID for 15-year-old singer, Aaliyah so the two could get married.
The singer was also charged in the U.S. District Court in Chicago with running years ong scheme to buy back sex tapes he allegedly made with underage girls and to bribe or coerce witnesses in his 2008 child pornography trial in Cook County, which ended in acquittal.
The U.S. District Judge, Harry Leinenweber, has set a trial for that case in August.