R. Kelly is set to go to trial in New York in September, and prosecutors are asking that the jury remain anonymous.
We may not have heard much about R. Kelly in the media lately, but the disgraced singer’s trials are moving forward swiftly. R. Kelly is facing a slew of charges across multiple states lines, but it’s now being reported that federal prosecutors in New York are asking for jurors to be kept anonymous. Meaning, they are petitioning for Kelly’s entire trial to be held in front of an anonymous jury because authorities believe the singer is “capable of inflicting violence.”
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This sort of rare move is usually held for cases that involve the mob or terrorists, but prosecutors reportedly noted that Kelly was accused of obstructing justice in his previous child pornography trial back in 2008. There are allegations that during the trial he paid off and intimidated witnesses and alleged victims.
“Multiple witnesses will testify that (Kelly) physically and violently assaulted them when they broke one of (Kelly’s) ‘rules,’” prosecutors wrote while adding “the fact that jurors are aware that their identities are publicly known may subtly and unconsciously impair their impartiality.”
The Chicago Sun-Times spoke with Steve Greenberg, R. Kelly’s attorney, who called the prosecutor’s request “ridiculous.” He added, “To suggest that (Kelly) may harm a juror because there are allegations that he may have engaged in domestic violence is, frankly, insulting. It’s insulting and illogical… We have to know who these people are.”
It’s been about a year that Kelly had remained behind bars as he awaits trials and faces charges of racketeering, sexual misconduct, sexual abuse, among many others. The singer’s Brooklyn trial is reportedly slated to begin on September 29 while his trial is his hometown of Chicago has a start date of October 13.