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R. Kelly contracts COVID-19, delaying conviction appeal

Antonio Perez – Pool via Getty Images

R. Kelly has contracted COVID-19 in prison, causing his attorney to request a two-week extension until February 17 in his sex trafficking conviction appeal.

Billboard reports that the extension was immediately approved on Tuesday by the federal judge overseeing the case. Attorney Jennifer Ann Bonjean added that the “Bump n’ Grind” singer was “parting ways” with most of his legal team that represented him during his trial last year. Devereaux Cannick and Calvin Scholar have already requested to withdraw from the case, and attorneys Nicole Blank Becker and Thomas A. Farinella will also reportedly move to leave.

Last summer, Bonjean won a ruling on appeal that overturned Bill Cosby’s 2018 sex assault conviction and led to his release from prison.

Kelly was convicted in September 2021 on nine criminal counts by a federal jury in New York City, including racketeering, sex trafficking and the sexual exploitation of a child. He is set to go to court August 1, 2022 in a separate federal case that includes child pornography, obstruction of justice and sexual abuse charges.

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