R. Kelly has a new legal counsel.
The controversial singer has hired Jennifer Bonjean, the New York attorney who won an appeal in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault case, to represent him as he appeals his racketeering conviction.
Bonjean, whose legal career began in Chicago, filed her appearance in Kelly’s case in the US District Court in Brooklyn, where Kelly was convicted last month of racketeering and sexual assault.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Bonjean will push for a new trial. However, if that is rejected, she will appeal to the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals.
Bonjean is responsible for Cosby’s appeal against his Pennsylvania sex offense conviction, which ended with his release from prison. She said she “looks forward to getting familiar with the record” in Kelly’s case and believes he is a victim of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
“I’m increasingly concerned about the way the government is misusing the RICO statute to advocate for the statute of limitations and essentially bringing people’s lives to justice,” said Bonjean, who also represents NXIVM sex cult leader Keith Raniere . “It will be a formula for the government. You have the right to defend yourself against specific accusations.”
Kelly, 54, was convicted on September 27 of charges including extortion, sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of a child. He faces a prison term of 10 years to life if convicted on May 4.
Kelly is also charged with child pornography and obstruction in Chicago. The jury process will begin on August 1, 2022 and is expected to last three to four weeks