Disgraced singer R. Kelly is so dangerous, that prosecutors are asking a judge to order the singer and his defense team to return all evidence related to government witnesses after his upcoming trial.
R. Kelly is fighting with the government over a proposed order that bars him from maintaining and keeping printed copies of the witnesses’ statements in jail.
“In light of the defendant’s history of obstructive conduct and the involvement of others, including strangers, in schemes to harass, intimidate and physically harm potential government witnesses, there is a significant risk that civilian andvictim-witnessess who may testify against the defendant may be subject to harassment or far worse,” acting U.S. Attorney Seth D. DuCharme wrote to a judge today (February 2nd).
Prosecutors say R. Kelly’s lawyers have the right to see the evidence to mount the singer’s defense, but they must not disseminate it and, after the trial, all of the materials related to the witnesses must go back to prosecutors after his trial.
Furthermore, they say R. Kelly has a history of obstructing justice.
Prosecutors pointed to an investigation in 2000 when R. Kelly allegedly persuaded multiple witnesses to lie to a Cook County grand jury. As a result of his nefarious behavior and threats, R. Kelly was acquitted of child porn charges in 2008.
Prosecutors cited his zeal to pay $170,000 to silence an individual who planned to go public with videos of the singer having sex with underage teens.
R. Kelly also wrote a letter to a Jane Doe witness in 2018, in which he threatened to expose nude photos of the individual to the public if she decided to testify against him.
They also referenced the disturbing behavior of several of R. Kelly’s underlings, who are trying to influence a case in which their boss could be locked away for hundreds of years.
On August 11th, 2020, a man named Richard Arline Jr. and another guy named Michael Williams were charged with interfering with witnesses planning to testify against R Kelly.
Arline was charged with trying to bribe a witness, while Williams was indicted for setting R. Kelly’s former “girlfriend” Azriel Clary’s car on fire in an attempt to intimidate her. He pleaded guilty to the crime.
Another man named Donald Russell, who claimed to be R. Kelly’s advisor, was charged with placing a threatening call in December 2018 during a screening of “Surviving R. Kelly,” claiming a gunman was planning to shoot up the theater.
Prosecutors also say several potential witnesses have been subjected to death threats via social media from rabid fans of R. Kelly.
Prosecutors are asking to restrict the witness statements to R. Kelly, his trial counsel, and legal staff.
They are also demanding no copies of the statement be made, and that all materials be returned to the government within 48 hours of the completion of the trial.