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R. Kelly challenge to sex abuse conviction draws skepticism from US appeals court

via CBS
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R. Kelly’s lawyer struggled to convince a U.S. appeals court to overturn his sex trafficking conviction and 30-year prison sentence.

The court questioned the argument that Kelly did not lead a racketeering scheme involving underage girls for sex.

“Didn’t the government prove that one of the purposes of this enterprise was to recruit girls so that Kelly could have illegal sexual activity?” Circuit Judge Denny Chin asked.

“There was no evidence that anyone went out there saying, ‘May I find out what your age is, are you underage, come back, we want to serve you up to Mr. Kelly,'” lawyer Jennifer Bonjean said.

“The appearance of these girls would be evidence enough, wouldn’t it?” Circuit Judge Richard Sullivan asked Bonjean.

“Looking young does not mean you know someone is a minor,” Bonjean said.

The prosecution highlighted repressive conditions imposed on victims, with Kelly using his enterprise to control them. (Trending: New Bombshell FBI Docs Blow Trump Case Wide Open)

Kelly’s appeal also raised concerns about juror bias and the overwhelming evidence presented.

“The jury was entitled to infer that Kelly and his inner circle knew what was going on,” federal prosecutor Kayla Bensing said. “He used the enterprise to make them feel like they were confined, and that they had no way out.”

Kelly, a prominent figure in the #MeToo movement, faces multiple convictions and a lengthy prison term.

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