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Last Friday, disgraced R&B icon R. Kelly lost an appeal after a federal appeals court upheld his 20-year sentence, which he received in 2022 after he was convicted of three charges of producing child sexual abuse images and three charges of enticement of minors for sex, according to the Associated Press.

Attorneys for Kell, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, didn’t even appear to be arguing their client was innocent of the crimes he was convicted of this time around. Instead, they argued, among other things, that if he did these things, he did them too long ago to be charged.

From AP:

In his appeal, Kelly argued that Illinois’ former and shorter statute of limitations on child sex crime prosecutions should have applied to his Chicago case rather than current law permitting charges while an accuser is still alive.

He also argued that charges involving one accuser should have been tried separately from the charges tied to three other accusers due to video evidence that became a focal point of the Chicago trial.

Federal prosecutors have said the video showed Kelly abusing a girl. The accuser identified only as Jane testified for the first time that she was 14 when the video was taken.

But the three judges with Chicago’s 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected all of the “Trapped in the Closet” singer’s appeals and implied in their ruling that Kelly was lucky he was acquitted on seven of the 13 counts against him “even after viewing those abhorrent tapes.” The judges also dismissed his statute of limitations argument—which insisted that he shouldn’t have been produced because, in Illinois, child sex crime charges must be prosecuted within ten years—as an attempt at escaping the charges against him entirely after “employing a complex scheme to keep victims quiet.”

So, basically, these judges appear to be on the side of the R. Kelly controversy where people believe the Pied Predator is right where he belongs.


But the “I Believe I can Fly” artist’s legal team isn’t done just yet, according to attorney Jennifer Bonjean, who said she and her client plan to “pursue all of his appellate remedies until we free R. Kelly,” which might include a review of the appellate court’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. “We are disappointed in the ruling, but our fight is far from over,” Bonjean said.