UPDATE: Due to the coronavirus epidemic, R. Kelly’s Brooklyn trial has been postponed from July 7th to September 27th, Reuters reports. The singer, who has asked to be released from behind bars in Chicago amid COVID-19 concerns in prisons, will also face federal charges in Chicago in October.
Four months before R. Kelly’s federal racketeering trial begins in Brooklyn, the Eastern District of New York filed a superseding indictment against the singer that includes additional charges stemming from a pair of newly added victims.
In the indictment, obtained by Rolling Stone, Kelly is accused of Mann Act violations (including transportation and coercion of a minor), “sexual exploitation of a child” and forced labor counts from two victims, Jane Doe #5 and Jane Doe #6.
Jane Doe #6 also accuses Kelly of “knowing exposure of infectious venereal disease,” as the singer “engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse with Jane Doe #6 without first informing Jane Doe #6 that he had contracted herpes and obtaining her consent to sexual intercourse in these circumstances,” the indictment states. For that, Kelly faces a reckless endangerment charge along with the Mann Act violations.
Under the “forced labor” counts, Kelly is accused of dispensing “serious harm and threats of serious harm to that person or another person; and by means of a scheme, plan and pattern intended to cause such person to believe that, if that person did not perform such labor and services, such person would suffer serious harm and physical restraint.”
The superseding indictment in the federal racketeering case ups the number of charges Kelly is facing in the Brooklyn trial to nine; he also faces another 13 federal charges in a Chicago trial that has been postponed until October after prosecutors recently seized over 100 electronic devices belonging to Kelly. The Brooklyn trial is currently scheduled to begin July 7th.
Kelly’s lawyer Steve Greenberg tweeted Friday, “Having now had the opportunity to review the latest superseding indictment against [Kelly], we do not believe it fundamentally changes anything.”
Kelly’s lawyer Doug Anton said of the new charges in a statement to Rolling Stone, “It seems that the government has sought to add additional allegations as to alleged conduct, with what they believe to be more specificity. Why these alleged facts relating to conduct were not known by the government until now, or included in the indictment until now, raises questions for my defense team to take an interest in.”
R. Kelly – Superseding Indictment – Eastern District of New York