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  • June

R. Kelly Is Appealing His Racketeering Conviction & Hired The Attorney Who Helped Bill Cosby Get Out

R. Kelly is fighting his federal racketeering conviction and is enlisting the help of the high profile attorney who won an appeal of Bill Cosby’s sex abuse case.

New York-based attorney Jennifer Bonjean filed her appearance in R. Kelly’s case in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, where Kelly was convicted last month of racketeering and sex abuse charges, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Bonjean told the Tribune she will spearhead R. Kelly’s post-conviction motions and if U.S. District Judge Anne Donnelly denies him a new trial, she will work on an appeal before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The post-trial motions are due on Monday, but Bonjean has asked the court for a two-month extension.

So why is getting Bonjean on the team such a big deal for R. Kelly? The attorney was the driving force behind Bill Cosby’s appeal of his sex crimes conviction in Pennsylvania.

Thanks to her work, Cosby is now a free man.

Bonjean said she’s “looking forward to getting familiar with the record” in Kelly’s case.

“I am becoming increasingly concerned with how the government is abusing the RICO statute in order to plead around the statute of limitations and essentially put people’s entire lives on trial,” Bonjean said. “It’s becoming a formula for the government. You have a right to defend yourself against specific allegations.”

R. Kelly was convicted on Sept. 27 of racketeering conspiracy charges. The jury found him guilty of 12 individual illegal acts, including sex with multiple underage girls as well as a 1994 scheme to bribe an Illinois public aid official to get a phony ID for a then 15-year-old Aaliyah so the two could get married.

Kelly, who remains locked up as he awaits sentencing in May, faces 10 years to life in prison.