R. Kelly’s lawyers push back against feds’ request to use allegations of uncharged crimes in upcoming trial

Kelly’s lawyers responded with opposition late Friday night to federal prosecutors, who filed a court document last week asking a federal judge permission to admit allegations of uncharged crimes.

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R. Kelly walks with supporters out of the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in June 2019.

R. Kelly walks with supporters out of the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in June 2019.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

R. Kelly’s lawyers are pushing back against federal prosecutors who are seeking permission to cite additional allegations of uncharged crimes during the R&B superstar’s racketeering trial in Brooklyn, set to begin in a few weeks.

Kelly’s lawyers submitted an opposing response late Friday to federal prosecutors who filed a court document last week asking a federal judge to admit the allegations, including sexual abuse of minors, unlawful imprisonment, hush-money payments and physical abuse.

The document from prosecutors alleges Kelly made sexual contact with a 17-year-old boy; that he sexually abused 15-year-old singer Aaliyah Haughton and had a fake ID made for her before he married her in 1994 so she couldn’t be compelled to testify against him; and that a crisis manager bribed a clerk in Cook County to get information about the singer’s legal trouble following the release of the Lifetime documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly,” among other allegations.

The memo filed Friday by attorneys Thomas Farinella and Nicole Becker said they oppose the motion because it’s “unequivocally inadmissible under the Federal Rules of Evidence.”

“The government’s request is untimely, not relevant and if permitted will cause severe prejudice to Mr. Kelly of which such prejudice outweighs the probative value,” it states.

The filing further argues that if the court doesn’t deny the government’s motion, Kelly’s constitutional rights and right to a fair trial would be violated.

Kelly’s indictment in Brooklyn alleges he led an “enterprise” made up of his managers, bodyguards, drivers and other employees who helped him recruit women and girls for illegal sex. A federal indictment filed against him in Chicago also alleges child pornography and obstruction of justice.

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