R. Kelly tests positive for COVID-19 in jail, wins appeal extension

He was found guilty of racketeering and bribery last September

R. Kelly has tested positive for COVID-19 while in a Brooklyn federal jail.

The singer stood trial last September for racketeering, bribery and violating the Mann Act, which criminalises the transportation of any woman or girl across state lines for “immoral” purposes, such as illegal sexual activity. Kelly was found guilty of all the charges against him and has been in jail ever since, ahead of sentencing on May 4, 2022.

Kelly could face life behind bars for his crimes, and will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.

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He initially had until today (February 3) to appeal the convictions, but because of his positive coronavirus test, U.S. District Judge Ann M. Donnelly ruled on Tuesday (February 1) that he can have an additional two weeks. According to Rolling Stone, he now has until February 17.

Writing in a letter to the court, Kelly’s new lawyer Jennifer Bonjean said: “It is vitally important that Mr. Kelly meaningfully participates in his post-trial defence. The [jail] has not indicated when visits will resume which is less than ideal, but undersigned counsel is confident that she can accomplish necessary discussions with Mr. Kelly via upcoming scheduled Zoom visits.”

She later took to Twitter to say that Kelly was “doing well“.

Following the conviction, acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn M. Kasulis said: “Today’s guilty verdict forever brands R. Kelly as a predator, who used his fame and fortune to prey on the young, the vulnerable, and the voiceless for his own sexual gratification.”

Kelly also put out a statement that said: “Today’s verdict was disappointing and I will continue to prove my innocence and fight for my freedom.

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Following his guilty verdicts, R. Kelly’s album sales increased by more than 500 per cent.

The ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ singer is still facing charges of child pornography and obstruction in Illinois, after that date was also delayed due to COVID-19. He is also concurrently facing other sex-related charges in Illinois and Minnesota. He has pleaded not guilty to these charges.

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