R. Kelly's new attorneys want his sex trafficking case delayed because of mandatory jail quarantine

R. Kelly’s lawyers have asked a judge for a postponement of his Aug. 9 sex trafficking case in New York City. Kelly’s new lawyers argue that they didn’t have enough time to prepare since he was placed under mandatory jail quarantine after his Chicago transfer.

Deveraux Cannick, a lawyer, wrote Monday that Kelly’s 14-day quarantine ended Tuesday and that it had exacerbated the “herculean effort” to get up to speed following their June 21 hiring.

Cannick claimed in the letter that Kelly’s new lawyers couldn’t meet him in person due to the quarantine and that proceeding with Kelly’s trial as planned would deprive him of meaningful and effective representation.

R. Kelly's new attorneys want his sex trafficking case delayed because of mandatory jail quarantine

Kelly’s legal name is Robert Sylvester Kelly. He was transferred to Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center on June 22. Kelly was already being held in Chicago on similar charges. Tuesday will mark fourteen days since Kelly was transferred to Brooklyn.

Cannick wrote that Robert is eager to get his day in court, but not at the cost of his Sixth Amendment rights.

Cannick’s request for comment was not answered by federal prosecutors as of Monday night. Donnelly has not yet made a decision on the file.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, federal lockups have been quarantining newly incarcerated and transferred inmates as part of protocols to stop the spread of the disease.

Kelly, 54, is charged with leading a group of bodyguards, managers, and employees that helped him recruit girls and women for sex. Federal prosecutors claim that the group targeted victims at concert venues and organized for them to travel to Kelly. Grammy Award-winning singer has denied ever abusing anyone.

Cannick stated that Kelly’s quarantine will end and he can meet with his lawyers. They’ll then have to compete for one of the few conference rooms available at Brooklyn jail. He wrote that if a room isn’t available, Kelly and his lawyers will have to meet at a table with other inmates and lawyers.

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Cannick wrote, “The nature and evidence of this evidence do not lend itself for open frank conversations in such an atmosphere.”