Why Is R. Kelly Being Bounced Two Different Federal Courts?

Recording artist ROBERT SYLVESTER KELLY was arrested July 11 on separate indictments by the Northern District of Illinois and the Eastern District of New York.

In Illinois federal court, R. Kelly is charged with:

“producing and receiving child pornography, and enticing minors to engage in criminal sexual activity.  The charges accuse Kelly of engaging in sex acts with five minors and recording some of the abuse on multiple videos.  The indictment also charges Kelly with conspiring to intimidate victims and conceal evidence in an effort to obstruct law enforcement, including an investigation in the 2000s that resulted in his trial in 2008 in Cook County on state child pornography charges.”

Image Source: nbcnews

In New York federal court, R. Kelly is charged with:

racketeering predicated on criminal conduct including sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping, forced labor and Mann Act violations involving the coercion and transportation of women and girls in interstate commerce to engage in illegal sexual activity.  Kelly is also charged with … exposure of [one victim] to an infectious venereal disease without her knowledge.”

In an effort to get bail, Kelly’s lawyer unsuccessfully asserted that Kelly had no means to flee because he has no money. And “Unlike his most famous song, ‘I Believe I Can Fly,’ Mr. Kelly doesn’t like to fly,” his lawyer told Judge Leinenweber.

Since his arrest, Kelly has been held without bond at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago.

Why They Made A Federal Case Out of It

Most sex crimes are matters of state law and are prosecuted by the state. Why did they make a federal case out of R. Kelly’s alleged crimes?

Child PornographyFederal jurisdiction is extremely broad with respect to child pornography as federal law prohibits the production, distribution, reception, and possession of an image of child pornography using or affecting any means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce. This includes using the U.S. Mails or common carriers to transport child pornography across state or international borders. Additionally, federal jurisdiction almost always applies when the Internet is used to commit a child pornography violation because federal law may be implicated if the materials, such as the computer used to download the image or the media used to store the image, originated or previously traveled in interstate or foreign commerce.  (See 18 U.S.C. § 2251; 18 U.S.C. § 2252; 18 U.S.C. § 2252A).

The Mann Act. The Mann Act is a federal law that outlaws prostitution and unlawful sexual activities when they involve interstate or foreign travel. In 1978, Congress expanded the Mann Act to prevent the commercial sexual exploitation of all children, not just girls. Then in 1986, Congress again expanded the law to criminalize noncommercial exploitation, such as transporting children for child pornography, whether or not the production was for commercial purposes.

Kelly is charged with violating the Mann Act by transporting a victim interstate and violating New York law by recklessly endangering the victim. He is accused of violating other sections of the Mann Act by coercing or enticing a child to engage in unlawful sexual activity and of transporting a child in interstate commerce for similar reasons.

Racketeering. Racketeering is a criminal activity in which a person or organization engages in a “racket.” A racket is when the criminal creates a problem for others for the purpose of solving that problem by some type of extortion. Originally intended to take down Mafia crime bosses, RICO (the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) allowed prosecutors to charge the crime bosses for the crimes actually committed by subordinates in the organization. So why is R. Kelly accused of racketeering? The “racket” headed by R. Kelly is one in which he recruited minors at concerts so he could groom them, indoctrinate them into his alleged “sex cult,” and abuse them.

Image Source: essence.com

Perhaps federal prosecutors were spurred to indict R. Kelly after the hugely popular The Surviving R. Kelly docuseries was aired, which features over 50 women giving interviews about suffering from or witnessing sexual and emotional abuse from Kelly.

Have you watched Surviving R. Kelly? Do you think federal prosecutors were emboldened by the docuseries?

2 comments on “Why Is R. Kelly Being Bounced Two Different Federal Courts?

  1. Avatar for calegalwriter
    Rosalynn Lewis on

    As I read the definition of racketeering – creating a problem and then through extortion offering to solve, I don’t see how this fits with child pornography: Kelly didn’t create the problem – poverty or lust for money, a lust for a better live, for more – for these people that were allegedly lured to him from his concerts as you assert.
    Nor did he have anything to do with the parenting problem, the environment they grew up in problem or other factors that created a desperate desire for wealth, a sense of hopelessness to have a better life or the lack of character required to be lured to get money at this level and to associate with fame.

    (Recall how the alleged child at fifteen was paid (millions through court) after she left Epstein at nineteen (stayed with him from age fifteen to nineteen of her free will (Virginia Roberts?) having fun, recruiting other girls, living on his Island scuba diving, fishing, hiking, enjoying the rich live. She asked to go somewhere in Asia to learn massage, once there she met a man and called Epstein and said she had decided to move on. Epstein said have a good life and hung up the phone. She now had seed to a good life and she moved on – money and a man her age. Epstein should have never been made to pay her anything for in this instance the age factor was moot, she stayed voluntarily into adulthood and left freely with money when she wanted to.

    Moreover, when you say child porno what age are you referring to? Thirteen and up should be viewed in a different venue. Massa who introduced child rape during open slavery times used children as young as eleven! as his sexual release receptacle, which I view as a child.

    Teenagers now are exposed to sexual activities of others, are being programmed to want more than the I Love Lucy days and using their bodies to get it – than the times I suspect these laws were created. The teenagers now look older, they act older, they dress older, they dress sexually, they dress alluringly and they are more forward: meaning girls/young women often approach the boy/men and do not wait for the male to approach them. Some of these girls even lie about their age for the opportunity to get money and associate with wealth.

    Since in I Love Lucy sex outside of marriage and having children though not married was a sin is no longer considered, the view of sex with children should be redefined as well. Just as the system is trying children as young as thirteen and fourteen as adults who murder and commit other adult crimes, sex which is suppose to be an adult activity should be viewed with some of these accusers as them performing as an adult with full knowledge of what they are doing (having sex) and why (for money) and willing participation: I lure you through your weakness (as some are cited herein above) does not negate your YES.

    Some of these teenagers are intentionally having sex with rich men underage and later coming back to sue for money – this is possible the case with many if not all of Kelly’s accusers.

    Take the case of Jennifer Araoz who freely came to Epstein house at age 15, there was no coercion after school she came on her own, no one was waiting after school to pick her up, she got undress and massaged him and let him touch her on many occasions, she then got her money each time and left. She stopped coming when they had intercourse once. She now had something she could use. It begs the question if she stopped and there was no intercourse only stripping and massaging Epstein would she have a case? I don’t think she thought she did. For now at twenty something she is the first to REFILE a lawsuit in N.Y. after Epstein’s death, she has been on TV NBC News (July 10, 2019 same day filed suit) and published her piece in N.Y.T. Why is she getting so much publicity? I also note her profession is a make-up artist, though her source of wealth states ACTING CAREER. Is there a deduction to be made that she is acting now given her family background and whats programmed into her? Is there a desperation for wealth and fame by any means necessary?

    Each of Kelly’s accusers should go through a thorough background check. In each there should be made a determination of whether they were sexually active before they met and had relations with Kelly. In law there is a defense called shared liability or joint liability or joint/participatory negligence. Applying this law the accuser is jointly liable because Kelly did not create the underlining problem that gave rise to her promiscuous behavior and Kelly is liable for not making certain of their age leaves no cause of action to go forward with. To do this you must leave the theatrics of their testimonies behind or put aside for I can only cajole you into doing something if you listen/stay long enough for it to happen and it happens because of whats programmed in you that I had nothing to do with. (i.e. emotional abuse)

    Lastly, New York case should be dismissed there is no racketeering based on the facts and by the definition of racketeering there is no cause of action. Moreover, N.Y. is a venue where it is more probable than naught that Kelly would not receive a fair trial given that massa owns N.Y. and Kelly obviously is no longer an income source for massa who hate African American men.

    Ask how did prosecutors chose N.Y. Why wasn’t the Chicago case merged with Federal and switched to the federal court in Illinois if Justice was the objective, the fueling force?

    Reply
  2. Avatar for calegalwriter

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