In recent months, we’ve featured posts about several defendants who will likely end up spending the rest of their lives in prison.
People like Keith Raniere, Michael Avenatti, Lawrence Ray and Harvey Weinstein (Earlier today, Weinstein was sentenced to 23-years in prison by the judge who presided over his recent trial in New York State).
We were also covering Jeffrey Epstein – who, had he gone to trial, would have likely ended up with a life sentence or a de facto life sentence (Epstein supposedly committed suicide while he was being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City).
The latest to join this cast of forlorn souls is Robert Sylvester Kelly – better known as R. Kelly.
When last we looked at what was going on with him, R. Kelly was being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago, IL (Question: Isn’t life confusing enough without the Bureau of Prisons using the same exact name for multiple facilities in different locations?).
At that time, Kelly was facing multiple felony charges in federal courts in Illinois and New York State – and numerous sex-related charges in state courts in Illinois and Minnesota.
New Charges Brought in Illinois and More Legal Problems on the Horizon
Just last week, Kelly was back in federal court in Chicago, IL – where he pleaded not guilty to all the charges set forth in a 13-count superseding indictment.
Although the superseding indictment did not include any new charges against Kelly, it did include allegations regarding his sexual involvement with yet another underage girl – who was simply referred to as “Minor 6” (The only “good news” for Kelly is that the superseding indictment did drop all references to the “Minor 2” victim who was included in the original indictment).
According to the information in the superseding indictment, Kelly first met “Minor 6” sometime in 1997 or 1998 – when she was 14 or 15 years old. It also alleges that shortly after meeting “Minor 6”, Kelly starting engaging in sexual acts with her – an activity that continued for several years before she turned 18.
At the March 5th arraignment hearing, the lead federal prosecutor in Illinois, Angel Krull, also announced that additional charges would be forthcoming in the near future.
Those additional charges are likely related to the more than 100 electronic storage devices that federal investigators recently seized from a storage facility in Chicago, IL where Kelly reportedly stored some of his recording equipment and office equipment.
Upon hearing that there was likely going to be another superseding indictment, the presiding judge in the federal case in Illinois, U.S. District Court Judge Harry Leinenweber, decided to push back the start of Kelly’s trial in that case from April 27th to October 13th.
The charges that Kelly is facing in the Illinois federal case include 2 counts of receiving child pornography, 1 count of conspiracy to receive child pornography, 4 counts of producing child pornography, 5 counts of enticing a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity, and 1 count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Among other things, Kelly is accused of filming himself while having sex with underage girls – and of paying off witnesses in a 2008 trial in which he was acquitted to get them to change their testimony.
Kelly has been in federal custody since last July at MCC/Chicago – which is close to the federal courthouse where the pre-trial hearings regarding the Illinois federal case are being held.
He has also been attending pre-trial hearings in his New York State federal case via video conferencing.
Kelly’s First Trial May Be in New York State
With the announced delay in his federal trial in Illinois – and the expected postponement of his Cook County trial on Illinois state charges – it looks like Kelly’s first trial could be held in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (EDNY).
That’s the same courthouse where NXIVM cult leader Keith Raniere was convicted last June.
As of right now, Kelly’s EDNY trial is scheduled to start on July 7th.
In that trial, Kelly will be facing 5 felony counts – including charges for racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor, sexual exploitation of children, and violations of the Mann Act that involve human trafficking.
Kelly Is Also Facing State Charges in Illinois & Minnesota
On February 22, 2019, Kelly was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse by the State of Illinois.
On May 30, 2019, a superseding indictment was issued in the Illinois state case that included 11 additional felony counts: 5 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse; 4 counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault; and 2 counts of criminal sexual assault.
The Illinois charges allege, among other things, that during the period from 1998 to 2010, Kelly abused four women, three of whom were minors at the time of the alleged abuse.
In Minnesota, Kelly is facing 2 counts of solicitation with a minor. Those charges involve his alleged payment of $200 to a 14-year old girl to take off her clothes and dance with him after a concert he performed there.
Kelly was a “no-show” on September 12, 2019 for his initial court appearance concerning the Minnesota charges. That’s because the feds who were holding him in Chicago decided not to transport him to Minnesota for the hearing.
Kelly Facing Several Lifetimes in Prison
If he is found guilty of all the charges he is currently facing in all his cases, the 53-year-old Kelly would be facing more than 500 years behind bars (This does not include whatever charges may be added in the yet-to-be-issued second superseding indictment in the Illinois federal case).
Even if he’s able to cut a “plea deal” in every case, it’s unlikely that Kelly will spend less than 25-30 years in prison.
And if he goes to trial in all those cases and loses, it’s quite likely that his sentence will be in the 40-50 year range.
Given those numbers, I think we can safely add R. Kelly to the list of guys who are likely going to die in prison.
Maybe we should come up with a name for this club…
What say you, Frank Report readers?