All eyes are on the defense after pleadings for R. Kelly’s pleas for acquittal

The judge overseeing the trial of R.

Acquittal requests, which were filed at the conclusion of the prosecution’s case on Tuesday, are routine in criminal trials and are almost always denied. At the very least, they are meant to preserve cases for possible future appeals.

However, before discussing the petitions on Wednesday, US District Judge Harry Lenenweber said he would not rule immediately, as several cases, in his view, are “worthy of consideration.”

Once the motions are decided upon, all eyes will turn to the defendants, who are due to begin presenting their cases on Thursday.

Defense attorneys have so far hinted at an eclectic mix of potential witnesses, including disgraced attorney Michael Avenatti, former Chicago Sun-Times music critic Jim Derogates, and the case’s former prosecutor, Angel Kroll, who exchanged emails with the star witness. Defense attorneys suggested it was inappropriate.

Attorney Jennifer Bungin, who is representing Kelly, told the judge Wednesday that she intends to contact record company CEO Kathy Carroll, who, according to testimony, introduced one of Kelly’s alleged underage victims to the singer when the teenager detained her late. the nineties.

Lawyers for Kelly’s former business manager, Deryl McDavid, promised in their opening statement to the jury that he would take the stand in his own defense. His lawyer, Beau Brindley, told reporters that testimony would come on Tuesday and “will be substantial.”

Meanwhile, Kelly’s lawyers have been silent on whether the singer will testify, but it seems highly unlikely given the nature of the charges and the subject of cross-examination.

“We’re still thinking about that,” Bonjian told reporters on Wednesday in the lobby of the Dirksen US Court.

In her acquittal filing Tuesday night, Bonjian wrote that the government failed to provide sufficient evidence to show that the singer “knowingly” coerced his daughter to engage in illegal sexual behavior “for the purpose” of producing child pornography.

Bungin also argued that there was no evidence that the videotapes Kelly made of him allegedly sexually assaulted the girl, who was 14 at the time, “ever leaving Illinois,” one of the elements that prosecutors must prove They support indictment charges regarding child pornography.

“Indeed, it is indisputable that the tapes are copies made by someone, but the government could not determine where the tapes were copied or who copied them,” Bonjian wrote. “The government simply did not prove that the tapes were transported interstate or foreign trade.”

Regarding other charges related to conspiracy and receipt of child pornography, Bonjian said the evidence is not available. She also put forward an important defense theory – that the efforts Kelly and McDavid to buy back a sex tape had nothing to do with underage girls, but instead involved Kelly’s then-wife and another adult woman.

“Government evidence, even at its best, failed to show (Kelly) specifically seeking child pornography, rather than any embarrassing sex tapes – such as a threesome video involving his ex-wife,” the movement read.

McDavid’s attorneys argued in their pleading that the government’s case had multiple “fatal flaws,” including statute of limitations cases and unreliable witnesses who changed their stories multiple times over the years.

Brindley told the judge on Wednesday that there was no conspiracy to obstruct justice after Kelly’s 2008 acquittal of Cook County child pornography charges.

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“Once he was acquitted, the idea of ​​obstruction of justice was gone,” Brindley said. “There was nothing else holding him back. The goal was achieved.”

He said the government incorrectly extended the limitation period for filing an indictment three years ago, even though the alleged behavior occurred more than a decade ago. “For the government to say we are going to charge you now, in 2019, is outrageous,” he said.

Kelly, 55, is charged with 13 counts of producing child pornography, conspiracy to produce child pornography and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

McDavid and another former Kelly employee, Milton “June” Brown, are accused in an alleged scheme to buy back sex tapes taken from Kelly’s collection and to conceal years of alleged sexual abuse of underage girls.

Prosecutors rested the case chief on Tuesday after calling about 25 witnesses over 10 days of testimony, including four women who said Kelly sexually abused them when they were underage. A fifth alleged minor victim named in the indictment was not called to testify for reasons that have not yet been clarified.

jmeisner@chicagotribune.com

mcrepeau@chicagotribune.com

#eyes #defense #pleadings #Kellys #pleas #acquittal

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