NY Federal Judge Rules R. Kelly’s Prison Funds Can Be Paid To Victims

On Friday (September), New York federal judge Ann Donnelly ruled that prosecutors could claim the tens of thousands of dollars R. Kelly possesses in his prison funds account and use them to pay fines or compensate his victims. The ruling deemed that the federal bureau of prisons must hand over $27, 824 to the prosecutors who will maintain possession until a final ruling is given.

Federal prosecutors argued, “The defendant has not made any payments towards the substantial criminal monetary penalties imposed upon him at sentencing, even though payment was due immediately.” Kelly retorted that the government had “improperly” taken his funds and did not have the right to do so, but Donnelly countered that there was “no dispute” that federal statutes gave prosecutors the right to use Kelly’s inmate funds to compensate his victims.

This decision came after a Washington Post article revealed that the Bureau Of Prisons was giving pushback on efforts to seize funds from inmates to be given to their victims. The article reported that said funds amount to over $80 million per year and are used to pay the salaries of hundreds of staffers within the bureau.

R. Kelly, who is currently on trial in Chicago for several criminal charges, was convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking charges last year in New York after decades of sexual misconduct allegations. Specifically, the R&B singer was accused of a longstanding operation where he would recruit and abuse women and underage girls. After a long enduring process, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison this past June.

The Chicago artist is gearing up to appeal his convictions. His attorneys feel his previous legal team was inadequate and the evidence against him is insufficient to justify a conviction. As for his Chicago case, if convicted, Kelly can face additional decades added to his already-30-year sentence.

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