R. Kelly’s federal sex trafficking case in Brooklyn will be heard by an anonymous jury, a judge has ruled.
The “Ignition” hitmaker has been charged with sex trafficking and racketeering in Brooklyn, New York, and in a newly unsealed decision, it has been revealed the jurors on his case will be anonymous.
U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly issued the ruling on Oct. 8, 2020, but it was only made public last week.
Donnelly wrote in her filing: “The government has established that empaneling an anonymous and partially sequestered jury is warranted.”
The judge declared that marshals will escort jurors in and out of the Brooklyn federal courthouse each day and sequester them during all breaks to protect them from outside influence, although they will still be able to go home at the end of the day.
Donnelly made her decision based on the allegations in Kelly’s indictment that accuse the shamed singer of heading up a criminal enterprise for 24 years designed “to promote the defendant’s music, to recruit women and girls to engage in illegal sexual activity with the defendant and to produce child pornography.”
Kelly is also being held on separate charges in Chicago, and Donnelly said her decision to keep the jury anonymous was also influenced by Kelly’s handling of his Chicago case, where he allegedly silenced witnesses through bribes, blackmail and threats.
Donnelly is also said to be worried about Kelly’s public profile, and the potential for social media to become “a tool for the harassment and intimidation of the jurors should their identities be made public.”
Read more about the judge’s decision and R. Kelly’s attorney’s response on the next page.