R. Kelly’s Lawyer Compared Singer To Martin Luther King Jr. In Closing Remarks For Sex Trafficking Trial

R. Kelly’s Lawyer Compared Singer To Martin Luther King Jr. In Closing Remarks For Sex Trafficking Trial

As the month-long trial for R. Kelly comes to an end, his attorney made interesting statements during the defense’s closing remarks.

Yesterday (Thursday, Sept. 23), Deveraux Cannick likened R. Kelly’s fight against sex trafficking and sex abuse allegations to civil rights legend Martin Luther King Jr.’s fight for social justice.

Cannick claimed that the disgraced singer and Martin Luther King Jr. had the same goal of upholding the Constitution. He went as far as stating quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop” speech that he shared just a day before being assassinated in Memphis.

Cannick said,

“Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly.”

He added,

“That’s all Robert is trying to do. [Make America] be true to what’s on paper.”

He then told the jury,

“You don’t have to worry about being beaten, maimed or killed. You just have to do your job.”

From allegedly requiring his girlfriends to call him “Daddy” to telling them when they were allowed to use the bathroom or eat, and allegedly sexually assaulting a girl two days after he married 15-year-old Aaliyah in 1994 (he was 27 at the time), the jury and judge heard plenty of testimony against R. Kelly. 

But Cannick claimed the “manipulating” accusers just wanted “paydays” to profit off their connection to R. Kelly through book deals and lawsuits, and that the singer was “never, never coercive.”

He added,

“They’re all working on those paydays. These folks are capitalizing… You can’t blame folks for trying to make a living but that’s totally separate from trying to take away someone’s liberty.”

He also challenged federal agents’ allegations that R. Kelly issued confidential settlements to keep his accusers quiet. Cannick claimed R. Kelly never confessed that he actually did anything wrong, stating:

“A settlement means nothing. A settlement means, ‘I don’t have time to deal with it.’”

He then said of the witnesses,

“They’re lying. And you knew they were lying… Lie after lie after lie. And you know what’s so sad about it? The government let them lie. Where’s the fairness to Robert? Where’s the integrity?”

After his closing remarks, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nadia Shihata told jurors,

“Don’t let them gaslight you. It’s as if we took a time machine and went back to a courtroom in the 1950s. What you’ve heard about from witness after witness is a process of indoctrination, grooming… It’s a process, not an event, and he used that process to exert control over his victims.”

The jury will start deliberating today (Friday, Sept. 24).

What are your thoughts on the defense’s closing argument? Comment and let us know.

Authored by: Char