Federal prosecutors have objected to the line of questioning that R. Kelly’s legal team wants to grill prospective jurors for his upcoming racketeering and sex abuse trial.
The government filed objections this week to several questions that Kelly’s lawyers recommended in order to assess the suitability of potential jurors, including whether the juror or their loved ones had ever contracted a sexually transmitted disease. And if the juror answers “yes” they have to explain what happened.
The feds said the question was too broad and invasive and having potential jurors disclose medical information was unnecessarily intrusive. They said there are much less personal questions that they could ask, like whether a potential juror would be fair and impartial around issues of STD transmission and exposure.
Kelly’s lawyers also want to ask potential jurors straight up if they would be willing to find Kelly not guilty – but the feds said the question was just too broad, potentially confusing and misleading, court papers state.
Prosecutors also opposed Kelly’s proposed question about where potential jurors worked, because they said they planned to keep jurors anonymous and sequestered.
Both sides are gearing up for Kelly’s trial, on charges including running a criminal enterprise that funneled schoolgirls to Kelly for sexual exploitation, drugging and kidnapping one young woman and infecting another teen girl with herpes. It’s scheduled to begin later this year.
Kelly – who a judge last week denied release from jail over COVID-19 fears – has pled not guilty to all of the charges.