High-profile attorney Jennifer Bonjean has joined R. Kelly’s legal team as he faces possible life in prison for nine convictions on racketeering, sex trafficking and the sexual exploitation of a child.
Bonjean is credited with Bill Cosby’s release from jail– not on innocence or guilt but a procedural issue; the presiding judge ruled that the prosecutor who brought the case was bound by his predecessor’s agreement not to charge Cosby. Bonjean has practiced in New York and Illinois, filing the latest papers in the Kelly case in Brooklyn, NY.
Kelly’s conviction came after seven weeks of testimony from over 40 witnesses that culminated in a guilty verdict on all counts. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Bonjean said she would spearhead Kelly’s post-conviction motions. If U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly denies Kelly a new trial, the Kelly legal team will work on an appeal before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. “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 said to the Tribune. “It’s becoming a formula for the government. You have a right to defend yourself against specific allegations.”
In Instagram posts, Cosby and his publicist have spoken on Kelly’s legal troubles, saying that he was railroaded. Their comments have caused much controversy, prompting publicist Andrew Wyatt to respond, “As the publicist of Mr. Cosby, I have the right to my opinion, and my opinion is not a reflection of Mr. Cosby’s. Yes, I feel that Robert Kelly was railroaded, and those were my words, not the words of Mr. Cosby. I will continue to reflect my views because the 1st Amendment allows me the same privileges as the media. Thank you very much.”
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Kelly is scheduled to return to court in May 2022 for sentencing. Attorney Bonjean and the rest of Kelly’s legal team hope to have an appeal working before that time.
Meanwhile, Bill Cosby continues to speak out in defense of the controversial figure.