Chicago, IL – R. Kelly‘s attorney Jennifer Bonjean has said the singer wouldn’t even be on trial without the “mob justice climate” in the United States.
Kelly’s second federal trial got underway in Chicago this week, during which video that allegedly shows the disgraced artist sexually assaulting and urinating on a 14-year-old girl in the late 1990s — which he was aquitted of in 2008 — was the focal point of the proceedings.
According to Buzzfeed, Bonjean made the remark about “mob justice” during opening statements on Wednesday (August 17) as she questioned why the government waited “over two decades” to bring charges against the singer.
She also claimed the case was based on social media movements such as #MuteRKelly and Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly docu-series, which served as the catalyst for the cascade of charges.
R. Kelly faces 13 counts, including producing and receiving child sexual abuse images and obstructing justice. Prosecutors believe he and some of his associates collected illicit tapes, paid off witnesses and convinced the girl at the center of the 2008 case and her parents to lie about her relationship with Kelly.
Unlike the New York trial in June, which landed Kelly 30 years behind bars, the embattled artist has two co-defendants — former business manager Derrel McDavid and Kelly’s ex-employee Milton Brown who both face one count of conspiring to receive child sexual abuse images.
Additionally, McDavid is charged with conspiring to obstruct justice. All three men have pleaded not guilty, explaining the allegations are simply motivated by greed.
As for Bonjean, she has been vocal about appealing Kelly’s 30-year sentence. Shortly after the sentence was handed down, she told the press: “These were not a RICO act violation. These were isolated events that happened many years and the government simply tried to plead around the statute of limitations to bring in a RICO charge, which was inappropriate.
“All I can tell you is there was no enterprise. There was no enterprise. It was one man with allegations by a number of women, which doesn’t make it an enterprise, and that is why he’s not guilty of racketeering.”